Chapter10-Middle Childhood: Social and Emotional Development
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Chapter 10: Middle Childhood: Social and
LO1: Theories of Social and Emotional Development in Middle
Freud: children in middle years are in the latency stage – the 4th stage of
psychosexual development, characterized by repression of sexual
impulses and development of skills.
othis period focuses on developing intellectual, social, and other
culturally valued skills
Erik Erikson: saw major developmental task as the acquisition of cognitive
and social skills, labelled this stage as industry versus inferiority –
mastery of tasks leads to a sense of industry, whereas failure
produces feeling of inferiority. Children with difficulties in school or with
peer groups may develop sense of inferiority
SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY
Focuses on importance of rewards and modelling in middle childhood,
increasingly regulate their own behaviour, depend less on external rewards
Exposed to an increase in a variety of models, teachers, other adults, peers,
COGNITIVE-DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY AND SOCIAL COGNITION
Piaget: middle childhood coincides with stage of concrete operations and is
paretly characterized by a decline in egocentrism and an expansion of the
capacity to view the world and oneself from the perspective of others
Social cognition: development of children’s understanding of the
relationship between self and others
Five Levels of Perspective Taking – developed by Robert Selman
Level Approximate Age What Happens
0 3-6: Children are Egocentric – do not realize that other
people have perspectives different from their own. Child
assumes everyone feels as they do
1 5-9a: children understand that people in different situations
may have different perspectives. Child still assumes that
only one perspective is “right”.
2 7-12a: child understands that people may think or feel
differently because they have different values of ideas.
Child also recognizes that others are capable of understanding
the child’s perspective. Therefore, child is better able to
anticipate reactions of others.
3 10-15a: child finally realizes that both she and another person
can consider each other’s point of view at the same
4 12 and above: child realizes that mutual perspective
taking does not always lead to agreement. The
perspective of the larger social group must also be considered.
** a: ages may overlap
DEVELOPMENT OF THE SELF-CONCEPT IN MIDDLE CHILDHOOD
As children undergo cognitive developments of middle childhood, more
abstract internal traits, or personality traits, begin to play a role. Social
relationships & group memberships take on significance
They evaluate their self-worth in many different areas
oPreschoolers: see themselves as either generally “good at doing
things” or not.
oBy 5-7 able to judge their performance in seven different areas:
physical ability, physical appearance, peer relationships, parent
relationships, reading, math, general school performance
oSelf-esteem declines throughout middle childhood, compare
themselves with other children and arrive at more honest and critical
self-appraisal resulting in declined self-esteem
oAuthoritative parenting contributes to better self-esteem, authoritarian
or rejecting-neglecting parents contribute to lower self-esteem
Learned helplessness: acquired belief that one is unable to control
one’s environment, and unable to obtain the rewards one seeks.
“helpless” children tend to quit following a failure, children who believe in
their own ability tend to persist or change their strategies.
LO2: The Family
Control is gradually transferred from parent to child in a process known as co-
regulation. Children begin to internalize the standards of their parents
LEZBIAN AND GAY PARENTS
Research on lesbian and gay parenting has fallen into 2 general categories:
general adjustment of children and whether the children are more likely than
other children to be lesbian or gay themselves.
oResearch found psychological adjustment of children of lesbian and
gay parents is comparable to that of children of heterosexual parents
oOut of 37 children and young adults all 13 older children who reported
sexual fantasies or sexual behaviour were heterosexually oriented
GENERATION X OR GENERATION EX? WHAT HAPPENS TO CHILDREN WHOSE
PARENTS GET DIVORCED?
Divorce toughest on children, no longer do they participate in daily activities,
such as eating with both parents, going to ball games, Disneyland etc.
Parents now often supporting two households, resulting in fewer resources for
oMothers who were once available may become an occasional visitor,
spending more time at work and placing them in daycare for extended
oMost live with their mothers, some fathers remain devoted to their
children, but others tend to spend less time with their children as time
Children of divorce are more likely to have conduct disorders, drug abuse,
and poor grades.
oFocused parenting is key to successfully making this significant social
Life in Stepfamilies:
Many stepfamilies have loving, rewarding relationships with their