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Lecture 5

FNF 100 Lecture 5: The Early Years: Social Inclusion and Child Development

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Ryerson University
Family Studies
FNF 100
Dan Mahoney

The Early Years: Social Inclusion and Childhood Development • The Early Years: Social Exclusion and Childhood Development Theories of Child Rearing Child Rearing and Socialization • “Socialization is the process by which children become part of their social group and thus, acquire the norms and values of their culture, learn to control their impulses, and develop their identity or self-concept” (Howe and Bukowski, 2000) – children are very observant, like a sponge – participating in the world (learned), how to dress, how to act – learning to control impulses to fit societal norms (tantrums, crying, violence) – taught that actions have consequences and impact other people – encouraged to have their own identities and a sense of self, outside parents – develop self-concepts and self-identities 2 Ways Children Learn Mechanistic Models • Development in under the control of external agents – Parents, teachers and family members – Who provide particular experiences, such as rewards and punishments that shape a child’s behaviours of the world – “Social Learning Theory” (“Sponge Theory” according to Prof.) Organismic Models • Development results from interaction between the child and the social and physical environment • Children are oriented toward achieving certain end points, such as a balance between their urges and the opportunities for satisfying these urges ▯1 Family as PrimaryAgent of Socialization • Parents are the prime socializing force: – conscious - direct teaching of the child – unconscious - indirect messages by acting as role models – children also observe their social and physical worlds – collectively provide opportunities for children to test and compare their beliefs with other family members (asking questions, suggesting scenarios, defy, refuse, do something differently) and depends on whether family members are open to this Family Life and Child Socialization and Development • Child development is not isolated from family environment • Context effects child development: – parenting style – the size and structure of the family – social and economic circumstances • Parenting Styles... • Parenting styles has a direct impact on child socialization • The literature recognizes two distinct dimensions parenting styles – emotional quality of the parent/child interaction – the level of control the parent exerts on the child (open, strict, allow self- expression) Parenting Styles… • Examples – Tone of voice (engagement) – Body language (showing affection, learning boundaries) – Demonstration of anger or acceptance (balance, duration, intensity) • Convey to the child the parent’s emotional attitude toward the child • Set of complex attitudes and belief systems that form the context of parenting • Different levels of engagement (helicopter parent) Parental Dimensional Styles • Parental emotional qualities ranges from from warm, accepting and responsive to the child’s needs and behaviours to rejecting, cold and unresponsive • Parental control can vary from restrictive and demanding to permissive ▯2 Four Socialization Styles • Authoritarian style - rigid, emphasizing obedience and parental authority • Authoritative style - consistent control, encourages independence and autonomy • Permissive style - accepting, positive, with few demands • Indifferent style - barely involved in family life, parent-centred Family Structure... • Size of family associated with child developmental outcomes: – smaller families verses larger families are associated with more positive child/parent interactions and greater academic performance – slight differences between two parent verses lone parent families in child developmental outcomes Family Structure II • Divorce or martial disharmony has been associated with emotional, behavioural and developmental problems in children • Overt marital conflict is strongly related to disrupted parenting and child adjustment than is overall marital satisfaction or quality Family Socio-Economic Status • Household income is also a basic indicator of child well-being: – One in four children under the age of 12 live
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