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Lecture 15

PSY2105 Lecture 15: Chapter -15

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Brenda Baird

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Evolutionary Approaches The dominant theme in evolutionary approaches to the developmental process is the impact of biological factors. Parents (and mothers in particular) are believed to be biologically primed for caregiving, since survival of their young will ensure survival of the parental genes. Peer relations are also presumed to have a biological foundation; the example of dominance hierarchies suggests genetically given aggression control mechanisms. EnvironmentalLearning Approaches Environmentallearning theorists focus on basic principles of learning in the socialization process. Initially, learning theorists stressed reinforcement and punishment but more recent work has emphasized observational learning. Parents are models; children observe and then imitate parental behaviours. The situation is similar with peers.Peers have many means of rewarding or punishing (sharing, criticism, ostracism) and also serve as models of acceptable behaviours. Peers become increasingly potent influences as time spent in their company increases. CognitiveDevelopmental Models Recently cognitive developmental theorists have been exploring the impact on parenting practices of parental beliefs about children. Despite varying beliefs about their own and other children, all parents find their behaviours affected by their beliefs, with better outcomes associated with more accurate perceptions of children and their abilities. Peer interactions involving negotiation and compromise, are influential in reducing egocentrism, enhancing perspectivetaking capacities, and promoting cognitive development. Childrens social cognition, or understanding of the social and interpersonal world, is influential in shaping their interpersonal behaviour. Sociocultural approaches Theorists taking a sociocultural approach are unique in focusing on the childs place within a socialcultural context. For these theorists, development may be said to be socialization. Earlier discussions of the zone of proximal development, scaffolding, and guided participation illustrate the major emphases of this approach. These concepts apply to peers as well; in this theory there is much attention to the role of the more competent child as guide and purveyor of learning opportunities. Bronfenbrenner adds emphases on the mesosystem and the macrosystem. Scholars interested in parenting practices focus on two goals identifying ways parenting practices vary between families and exploring what impact, if any, those variations have on developmental outcomes in children. Two basic dimensions have emerged as salient in discriminating among parenting styles. Parental warmth focuses attention on the affective tone of parenting and Parental control addresses the extent and nature of child monitoring, supervision, and regulation. Positive outcomes are associated with high warmth and reasonable control. Emphasis in studies is now on parenting style the overall pattern of childrearing demonstrated by the parent.
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