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FRHD 2270 Lecture Notes - Early Head Start, Ecological Systems Theory, Social Cognitive Theory

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 2270
Robyn Pitman

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Early and Middle Childhood
John Locke-Laid groundwork for theories. Believed in ‘Tabula Rosa’ where children are
born with no knowledge and gain knowledge through social experience.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau-Maturation Theory-We are genetically predetermined and born
with all the knowledge we need, have knowledge and laws and parents should not try to
adjust behaviour.
Continuous learning-Development is linear, lessons and skills build on old lessons and
skills. E.g. friendly at 5, friendly at 25
Discontinuous-Steps where behaviour changes. Must pass through first step to move onto
the next step.
Active Child-Do children influence their own development?
Passive Child-Does the environment shape the child?
Psychodynamic Perspective
Sigmund Freud-Created the psychodynamic theory and looked at what the biological
roots are for things. Learned there were patterns from childhood conflict resolution caused
issues as an adult. Believed there were 3 personality traits.
ID-Primitive instincts that seek instant gratification of needs. Begins at birth, idea of “I
want it now”
Ego-Emerges in the 1st year of life where you learn you cannot get everything you want,
begins to reason with the ID. Gives a “reality check.
Superego-“Emerges during preschool years, learn about right and wrong. Looks at what is
moral and is influenced by adults and parents. Superego polices the Id.
Freud’s Contributions-Early experiences have effects on development. Individuals
experience conflict with what they want to do and what they should do.
-Developed the idea of talking and listening to people; talk therapy.
Learning Perspective
Ivan Pavlov-Developed the idea of classical conditioning and the idea that learning
happens beyond our awareness. Helps us recognize what events usually occur in the
everyday world so we can anticipate what will happen next.
Neutral/Natural stimulus-Does not lead to learning on its own. Must be presented at time of
Unconditioned stimulus.
Unconditioned stimulus-Paired with the neutral stimulus to produce a specific response
without prior learning. E.g. learn to pair dog food with a bell.
Unconditioned Response-Response to the UCS after the learning has occurred. E.g. dog
Conditioned stimulus-Paired with the neutral response now produces a learned response.
Conditioned response-learn to respond to the neutral stimulus.
Extinction-Conditioned stimulus is presented without the unconditioned stimulus over time
the conditioned response will no longer occur.
Classical Conditioning (The Office)-Neutral stimulus-computer noise, Unconditional
stimulus-mint, Unconditioned response-salivation/bad breath, Conditioned stimulus-
produces saliva, Conditioned response-puts out hand for mint/bad breath.

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John Watson-Believed in classical conditioning and behaviourism, idea we can shape a
child’s development by doing certain things. Applied classical conditioning to human
children and believed that a child was a blank slate and we can teach them anything.
Little Albert-Paired a loud noise with a rat that the child was not afraid of. Learnt to be
afraid of the rat because of the noise. The child not only was conditioned to fear the rat but
became afraid of all furry things. This study would now be considered unethical.
Operant Conditioning
B.F.Skinner-Biggest contribution was the consequences of behaviour determine whether
you will repeat a behaviour or not.
Positive Reinforcement-Behaviour is increased because it is followed by a positive
response e.g. chocolate or pay check.
Negative Reinforcement-Behaviour is increased by taking something bad away. E.g. Clean
your room and you don’t have to do the dishes.
Punishment-Consequence that decreases future likelihood that a behaviour will occur.
Much less effective because it does not explain the desired behaviour.
-Can be done in two ways by either suppressing a behaviour by imposing something
negative e.g. don’t clean room you do more chores. Or withhold something positive.
Social Cognitive Theory
Albert Bandura-His contribution was that children are actively engaging and trying to
understand what goes on in their world not just copying things.
-Believed that children imitate because of rewards and punishments and they are more
likely to imitate if there are consistent rewards or if the person is a role model.
Self Efficacy-Belief in you own abilities or talents, develops through experience which
determines if children will imitate. Goes along the lines of self-confidence so everyone has
a different self efficacy. E.g. if you don’t think you can sing you wont imitate JT
Bobo Doll Experiment-3-6yr old children try to determine when they imitate. 1 group saw
the doll in a room, others saw doll being attacked by an adult. Children learned to imitate
the aggressive behaviour modelled by the adults, not only imitated behaviour but found
new ways to cause harm to the doll.
Ecological Systems Theory
Bronfenbrenner-Believes that a combination of different systems effects children
development. Development is influenced by the environment we live and interact with.
-Believe development is active and we try to influence our environment as it influences us.
Looks to how biological characteristics can also influence our environment. 5 layers
Microsystem-Immediate surroundings and environments. This is a core system and must
develop fully or child development will be hindered. E.g. parents, siblings, peers etc. Child
also effects these things too.
Mesosystem-Inter-connectedness/interacts between Microsystems effect development.
Exosystem-Environment that doesn’t directly interact with the child but may have an
influence on them. E.g. parents work environment, not having days off to look after child.
Macrosystem-Broad social/cultural context the child lives in. e.g. values, laws, customs.
Chronosystem-Represents the dimension of time the child is developing. E.g. literal year
1990 or stage of development or major life events at that time.

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How does the system change?-Not just the child that is active but the system is active and
constantly changing and developing e.g. size of a microsystem changes every time they
change life roles or surrounds.
-Charges are enforces from external environments, we have no control over them, but
changes can occur from inside the individual; we have control over things and can control
how we deal with the external environments.
Ecological Theory in Action-Bronfenbrenner proposed that technology has changed out
society and this has affected our societal environment. E.g. parents work too much so
spend little time with their children causes breakdown in microsystem.
-Created head start program which provides education to parents, health, nutrition and
parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. Promotes the idea
that no child is left behind.
-Early head start promotes healthy development for infants, prenatal development
and prepare children for school.
-Head start 3-5years are services that depend on a child’s and each family’s
heritage and experience. Focus on the child and the family.
Bidirectional Theory-Idea that parents and children influence each other and that learning
is not just a one way street. 4 parts
Causality-Direction of influence; the idea of acknowledging bidirectional theory exists.
Context-Interactions happen in long-term, close relationships you have a history with the
person you are interacting with; know how to push each others buttons.
Agency-Parents and children are active in their interactions, acknowledge people influence
each other equally.
Power-Both want to be powerful by influencing the other. Unequal parent child
relationships because child always fights for power and parent always tries to keep the
power. Often creates power struggles.
Family Guy Clip Causality-Mutually influential, Context-Stewie has a number of years
interacting with Loius, Agency-Active agent is Stewie, Louis affects Stewie because she is
ignoring him, Power-Stewie has the power because he gets Louis to react which reinforces
this power.
Heredity; Key concepts-Idea that certain things are predetermined.
Chromosomes-body has 46 chromosomes (23pairs) which contains all the genetic
information for what you will be like.
Alleles-Name of the chromosomes
Homozygosis-Both chromosomes in the pair are the same
Heterozygosis-The chromosomes in the pair are different.
Autosomes-Name of the first 22 pairs
Sex chromosome-23rd pair is different, determines the sex of the child. xx=girl, xy=boy
Genotype-Complete set of genes, serious diseases are genetically based.
Phenotype-Individuals physical, behavioural and psychological features. Genetic
instructions but can be influenced/expressed through the environment.
Dominant Genes-Dominant genes are always expressed. If the combined of alleles is Aa,
A will show and if it is AA, A will show. E.g. widow’s peak is dominant
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