Chapter Eleven: Text Notes
Psychosocial Development in Early Childhood
-Ph. D in Fine Art, and degrees in Philosophy and Education
-1960s, became popular singer/song writer of folk & protest music
-1969, established Nihewan Foundation, educational foundation
dedicated to Aboriginal children to prepare them for success in
school, and to promote a more accurate understanding of Aboriginal
peoples internationally and in their own communities.
-Also branched off of the foundation with the Cradleboard Teaching
Project. This project is dedicated to developing teaching materials on
North American Aboriginal Cultures.
-1993, established a Juno award category for Aboriginal Canadian
-Wanted to clear up the misconceptions non-Aboriginal people had of
cultures and traditions of Aboriginal peoples throughout North
THE D EVELOPING SELF
The Self-concept and Cognitive Development
-Self-concept is our sense of self; descriptive and evaluative mental picture
of ones abilities. A cognitive construction, which determines how we feel about
ourselves, and guides our actions.
-Comes into focus in toddlerhood, as self-awareness is developed.
-Becomes clearer and more compelling as a person gains in cognitive abilities
and deals with the developmental tasks of childhood, of adolescence, and then of
Changes in Self-Definition: The 5 to 7 Shift
-Changes in self-definition reflect self-concept development.
-Occurs between the ages of 5-7.
-Self-definition is the way children describe themselves.
-Neo-Piagetian analysis describes this shift in 3 steps.
1. Single Representations:
-Describe self in terms of individual, unconnected
characteristics. Describe self in all or nothing terms.
-Cannot imagine having two emotions at once.
-Cannot acknowledge that his real self is different from his
2. Representational Mappings:
-Age 5 or 6
-Begin to link one aspect of ones self to another. -Logical connections between parts of ones image.
-Still all or nothing terms.
3. Representational Systems:
-Age 7 (or middle childhood)
-Integrate specific features of the self into a general, multi-
-Self-descriptions are now more balanced.
Cultural Differences in Self-Definition
-Parents transmit cultural ideas and beliefs about how to define the self.
-Different cultures encourage different view of the self. (Interdependent and
-180 European American and Chinese preschoolers, kindergarteners,
and second graders.
-As early as age 3 or 4, children differing cultural styles of self-
-European American children
-personal attributes I am big.
-personality traits & tendencies I am good at sports.
-positive light I am smart.
-social categories I have a sister.
-specific, overt behaviours I play tag with my friends.
-describe themselves neutrally I forget my manners.
-The evaluative part of the self-concept.
-The judgment children make about their overall self-worth.
-Based on childrens growing cognitive ability to describe and define
Developmental Changes in Self-Esteem
-Age 8, can articulate a concept of self worth. (But are able to show it through
actions prior to this age.)
-In Belgium (Verschueren, Buyck, & Marcoen, 2001)
-Measured self-perceptions of 5-year-olds. (Physical Appearance,
Scholastic and Athletic Competence, Social Acceptance, and Behaviour
-Used puppets to reveal childrens perceptions of what other people
think of them.
-Positive or negative self-perceptions at age 5 tended to continue to
-Tend to accept the judgment of adults, and may overrate their
abilities. Contingent Self-Esteem: The Helpless Pattern
-High self-esteem = a child who is motivated to achieve.
-Attribute failure to factors outside themselves, or they feel they need
to try harder.
-Tend to have parents who give specific, focused feedback. (Look, the
tag on your shirt is showing! instead of When are you going to learn
to dress yourself?!)
-Self-esteem which is contingent on success = a helpless child.
-View failure or criticism as an indictment of their worth. They may
stop trying all together since they feel unable to do better.
-They become demoralized when they fail.
-Attribute poor performance or social rejection to their own
personality deficiencies, which they feel they cannot change.
Understanding and Regulating Emotions
-Develops during preschool years.
-The ability to understand and regulate ones feelings is one of the key
advances of early childhood.
-Help children guide their behaviour.
-Contributes to their ability to get along with others.
-32 4-8 year olds, 32 adults.
-How would a young boy feel if his ball rolled into the street and he
retrieved it or failed to retrieve it?
-4 & 5 Year olds thought he would be happy if he got it back, even
though he broke the rules.
-Older children & adults thought the boy would obedience of the rules
would make him feel good, and disobedience of the rules would make
him feel bad.
Understanding Conflicting Emotions
-They do not understand that they can experience contradictory emotions
and/or reactions simultaneously.
-J. R. Brown & Dunn, 1996
-3-year-olds who could identify whether a face looked happy or sad or
could tell whether a puppet was enacting a situation involving
happiness, sadness, anger, or fear, were better able at the end of
kindergarten to explain a story characters conflicting emotions.
-They came from families who often discuss why people behave they
way that they do.
Understanding Emotions Directed Towards the Self
-Shame and pride develop at age 3, after children gain self-awareness.
-Depend on the internalization of parental standards of behaviour. -STUDY-
-Stealing or Performing well. (Seen or unseen)
-4-5 years old
-Didnt mention pride or shame
-Thought parents would be worried or scared (stealing)
-Thought parents would be happy or excited (performing)
-6-7 years old
-Parents would be ashamed or proud.
-Didnt acknowledge pride or shame of themselves.
-Would only be proud or ashamed if someone saw them.
-7-8 years old
-Even if no one saw them, would be proud or ashamed of
Cultural Influences on Emotional Regulation
-Cultural influences the socialization of emotional expression though
interaction with caregivers.
-Cole et al. 2002
-Villages in Nepal. Brahmans - high-caste Hindus. Tamang, Buddhist
-Both highly value social harmony.
-Brahman caregivers ignore a childs expression of shame, because of
their high-status cultural view. They deal openly and
sympathetically with anger, encouraging control.
-Tamang caregivers reprimand anger, but use nurturance and reason
to deal with shame.
-Spilling on homework example. (Controlled anger, or shame of
leaving homework near the drink)
Erikson: Initiative versus Guilt
-The conflict arises from the growing sense of purpose, which lets a child
plan and carry out activities, and the growing pangs of conscience the child may
have about such plans.
-Split between two parts of the personality:
-The part that remains a child, full of exuberance and a desire to try
-The part that is becoming an adult, constantly examining the
propriety of motives and actions.
-Learning how to regulate these develops the virtue of purpose.
-If the crisis is not resolved, a child may turn into an adult who is
-Constantly striving for success and showing off
-Inhibited and unspontaneous or self-righteous and intolerant
-Suffers from impotence or psychosomatic illness