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the ecology of development - the child within the family system.docx

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Richard B Day

June 18 , 2013 Psych 2AA3: Child Development The Ecology of Development: The Child within the Family System Family Systems Theory - View that family is an integrated network of factors that work together to influence a child’s development - Wholeness  The family is more than just the sum of the parts  How do the members of the family interact together - Adaptive - Eg. Jay Belsky  Child’s behaviour affects marital relationships, and parenting  Marital relationship impacts infant behaviour and parenting  Parenting influences infant behaviour and marital relationships  Bidirectional interactions between each system Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Approach - Child operates and is affecting by multiple levels of influences - Microsystems  All systems the child has direct personal experience with  Day to day interactions - Exosystems  Child is not directly affected but they affect one of the microsystems, especially family  Parents interactions which indirectly affect the child - Macrosystems  Larger cultural or subcultural settings - Filter between macrosystem and exosystem - Chronosystem: overarching level that describes the differences in which generations are affected by the time in which they live (cohort effects) Individuals in the Family System - Child can influence the system - Children elicit different responses from parents - Children are treated differently on the bases of their own personal characteristics - Children’s characteristics  Temperament  Birth order  Parenting in one child leads to changes in parenting of another  Younger siblings tend to be more rebellious as they are treated as the underdog in the family o More willing to try new things  Non-shared environment  Goal-corrected partnerships  Parent and child have changing expectations  The goal between the two are always being updated as we have these changes  Gender differences  Parents treat boys and girls differently  Mother’s maintain more physical and visual contact with their sounds in infancy  More restrictive over girls than boys  Expect better behaviour from their daughters  Stronger standards of behaviour for girls than for boys  Conforming and enforcing gender stereotypes is stronger in boys - Parent’s characteristics  Eg. Neuroticism, depression  Creates different environments for their child  Post-partum depression have more difficulty with synchrony and forming attachment with infants which has long term consequences Warmth and Responsiveness - Relative warmth versus hostility  Children in warm and loving families  Are more securely attached  Have higher self-esteem  Are more empathetic  More altruistic  More responsive to distress in others  Higher IQ  Do better in school  Can act as a buffer against the negative effects of disadvantageous environments  Children in hostile families  Show higher levels of aggression and delinquent behaviours in later childhood or adolescence  Undersocialized delinquence  Consequences are more severe when physical abuse or neglect is present - The emotional tone of the family  Responsiveness (sensitivity)  Parents pick up the child’s signals appropriately and react in sensitive ways to the child’s needs. These children o Learn language more rapidly  Use more complex language  Speak to the child more often o Securely attached  Maternal responsiveness is a key element in developing secure attachment o More rapid cognitive development o Higher IQ o More compliant to adult requests o More socially competent Methods of Control and Communication Patterns - Discipline  Maintaining control  Control is based on the consistency of rules  Make rules, tell what the consequences are, enforcing rules consistently  Parents who are clear and consistent have children who are less likely to be defiant or noncompliant  Children are competent and sure of themselves  Reinforcement - Punishment  Physical punishment or reward punishment  Involve some negative consequence  Spanking is the most controversial  Punishment works if used properly  Used early in some sequence of misbehaviour  Lowest level of emotion possible  Mildest form of punishment To Spank or Not to Spank? - Arguments against physical punishment  Spanking does work in the short term, but even then there are negative effects  The parent is being reinforced to use spanking more often because of short-term relief from bad behaviour  Child learns from a negative parenting model o Lessens the effectiveness of positive reinforcement  Carries a strong emotional message to the child of anger, rejection, and dislike of the child  Children who are spanked are less popular with peers and show higher levels of aggression  Harsh and erratic physical punishment increases negative outcome Communication - Families that communicate more effectively are less likely to be using physical punishment - High-communication groups have higher overall family satisfaction and higher family adaptability compared to low-communication groups Parenting Styles - Diana Baumrind  Dimensions of parenting  Warmth of nurturance  Level of expectations (maturity demands)  Clarity and consistency of rules  Communication Control and Communication Between Parent and Child - Baumrind’s parenting styles  The permissive style  High in nurturance but low in maturity demands, control, and communication  The authoritarian style  High in control and maturity demands, but low in nurturance and communication  The authoritative style  High in all four  The neglecting style  A fourth parenting style suggested by Maccoby and Martin, involving low levels of both acceptance and control The Authoritarian Type - Parents attempt to mould and control behaviours and attitudes  Emphasize obedience, respect for authority, order  Expect rules to be followed without discussion  Because I said so - Children in authoritarian families  Do less well in school  Less skilled with peers  Lower self-esteem  Some are subdued  Some are highly aggressive  Parents are authoritarian, but unskilled in its use The Authoritative Type - Most consistently positive outcomes associated with this type  Parents set clear limits  Expect and reinforce socially mature behaviours  Respond to the child’s individual needs  Willing to discipline the child appropriately  Use time out or mild punishments - Children  Higher self-esteem  More independent  More likely to comply to parental requests  Self-confident and achievement-oriented  Get better grades The Permissive Type - Parents who exercise little authority and are indulgent while showing warmth - Children  Do slightly less well in school as adolescents  Somewhat immature in behaviour with peers  Less likely to take responsibility  Likely to be aggressive  Less independent The Neglecting Type - Most consistently negative outcomes - Psychologically unavailable mother  Depressed  Overwhelmed with life stressors  No deep emotional connection to the child - Children  Continue to show disturbances in relationships with peers and adults  Adolescents are more impulsive and anti-social  Less achievement-oriented in school  More likely to become delinquent  More likely to engage in early sexual activity  Teenage girls  Pregnancy Parenting Styles and Development - Research conducted on a homogeneous set of families  White families  Similar socioeconomic families  Parenting styles differ across cultures  High school students  Measured by questionnaire and academic/social performance - Authoritative style produced the best outcomes  High outcomes on all measures  Combination of authoritative parenting and school involvement by the parents that produce the best results - Authoritarian families  Low scores on social competence and self-reliance - Neglected families  Lowest outcomes and scores on measures of problem behaviours, school achievement - Permissive families  Mixed results - In other cultural context there may be different results in which style does better Other Family Structures - Typically older - Costodial grandparent’s responses to children’s problems are similar to parents  Stress of parenting and aging may cause older adults to feel more depressed  Aging can create a bigger stressor on these grandparents in the role of parents  Different social support networks - Gay and lesbian parenting  Adoption process  No accidental children  Children are similar in sex-role identity formation and are just as likely to be heterosexual  Do not differ in cognitive development Understanding the Effects of Divorce - Single parenthood and divorce reduce financial and emotional support for the child  Woman’s income drops 40-50% after divorce  Socioeconomic status changes - Any family transition involves upheaval  Transitions can be very difficult for children  Moving  Changing schools  Any transition unrelated to divorce can cause effects that
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