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Lecture 7

PSY210H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Institute For Operations Research And The Management Sciences, Gender Role, Morphogenesis

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Tina Malti

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Lecture 7
Chapter 11 & 12
The Family and Social Influences
The Family System
1. Socialization is the process of mutual shaping between parents and children.
2. Families do not function in isolation.
3. Each member of a family is constantly changing.
4. Family and system interchange
5. Family = main system (immediate family)
6. Subsystem = all relationship that exist between two people within that system
a. Marital
b. Sibling
c. Parent-Child
7. Work as system clinician; children belong to a system
8. Have to bring everybody that is involved or miss the majority of what is going on in child's life
9. Two-way street; children don't develop pathology or positive things on their own
a. Children learn from people in system
b. People in system learn from children
10. Family has most power to shape a child
11. Family part of macrosystem; community (school, daycare, church, extended family)
12. More isolated families are, the more prone they are to pathology (no social network, not involved, no
family in this country ... )
a. Family need support
b. We are social beings, if don't live amongst one another, if we don't feel support it leads to
pathology (depression, anxiety, anger, maladaptive behaviour in children)
13. Family is a whole, if a piece changes then that entire unit changes
a. Important: How well that system adjusts to that individual changing
b. Flexible
c. Be able to follow individual change and readapt quickly and function quickly
d. If too rigid, leads to pathology
The Ecological Systems Perspective
1. Systems theory:
a. Systems are complex and organized.
b. Systems have their own identity.
c. Systems are relatively stable, but also undergo morphogenesis.
d. Systems reach a stage of equifinality.
2. a. Systems seek organization because they are so complex; everyone has a role (organized); has rules
3. b. Pick 3 adjectives to describe family- how much depth, how realistic,
4. c. Only so much instability a system can take, lots of instability --> pathology (death, marriage, birth,
accident, divorce, loss of income); family need to be able to go through change (function and adapt)-
need to reorganize and create new rules, roles may need to change
5. d. All systems will end up at the end point but the way they get there is always different
The Ecological Systems Perspective, cont’d.
1. Other principles of systems theory:
a. Each member of the family is interdependent on each other.
b. Families reach a stage of homeostasis.
c. Families have boundaries that vary in how open they are to outside forces.

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2. One individual function in changes the functioning of everyone else in that system (e.g. depressed
mothers changes member)- interdependent on each other (two-way street)
3. Adults tend to think children are unaware/unaffected by conflicts or changes
4. Homeostasis- need for internal stability-- ORGANIZATION
5. Ultimate goal for child psychology: children exist in system with stability + homeostasis
6. When children have tradition in their system- help them feel stable (state of homeostasis)
7. Boundaries- some families have very rigid boundaries; don't allow anyone outside system to come in
(can be physical or psychological ... don't like ppl coming into house or new marriages)
8. Sometimes family need to tighten boundary when outside influences are traumatic ...
9. Think about boundary- unfair? inappropriate? loose?
a. Children need parents to have a boundary - hierarchy
b. Parents are not your friends ;)
c. Problem: loss of respect,
The Marital System
1. Marital conflict both directly and indirectly impacts children.
2. Parental conflict affects boys and girls differently:
a. Boys display more externalizing behaviour.
b. Girls display more internalizing behaviour.
c. Boys more susceptible to negative consequences of parental conflict.
3. Directly: witness
4. Parenting style changes when in conflict
5. Indirect: Depressed parents will be parenting children
6. Gender differences
a. Boys have more noticeable/outward behaviour- verbal, physical
b. Girls: less interest in what they use to do
c. Boys more susceptible- external behaviour more disruptive- reported a lot more
d. Girls show more emotion/ emotionally connected, relational, bonding
7. Unresolved anger: child angry, unsure if conflict has been resolved
8. Child should be told that problem is solved (explicit unobserved resolution)
9. Implicit unobserved resolution: child knows that everything is okay, it is implied due to behaviour
Impact of a New Baby on the Marital System
1. Shift towards more traditional division of labour.

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2. Exceptional demands of a child can lead to marital conflict.
3. Intervention programmes can help reduce risk faced by young families.
4. New baby- marital conflict, women give up career,
5. Usually females who give up their job- problems arise
6. If new baby has an exceptionality, marital has more conflict
7. Most conflict with marriages are with autistic children, down syndrome is least amount, then children
with intellectual instability
a. Autism, intellectual instability, down syndrome
8. Challenging to parent child with exceptionality- more decisions, communication, therapies, financial
a. Behavioural difficulties (children)- can't communicate- tantrum, hurt themselves --> social
9. Intervention programs: reduce risk, learning about demands, teach skills of communication, interaction
The Parent-Child System
1. Ways in which parents socialize children:
a. Attachment forms the basis of later family relationships.
b. Parents use learning principles.
c. Parental management of environment shapes social development.
2. Attachment forms early but it can change throughout development
3. Time when attachment becomes hard to maintain or become less optimal is when: 2 years
a. Language and motor skills at peak
4. Learning principles: use rewards for good behaviour/praise and punishment for misbehaviour
a. Predictable
b. Provide learning environment
5. School, recreational, time with tv and peers ---> manage child environment and shaping optimal social
Dimensions of Parental Behaviour
6. Emotionality
a. Parental warmth is important.
b. High levels of tension make socialization difficult.
7. Control
a. Power-assertive methods of punishment compared to reasoning.
b. As children age, self-regulation and reasoning become more crucial.
8. Figure 11.3: Parenting Styles
9. Parental warmth: Connect emotionally, provide emotional support, celebrate accomplishments, give lots
of attention, quality time
a. Help kid cope with difficulty- show them that they are worthy; self-esteem is high
b. Everything that is positive correlated with high self esteem
c. Children would want to please that person
d. Shows that it is okay to show emotion
10. Control- boundary !
a. Parents need to have good control over children
b. Show control and exert it and practice it when they need to and back off when they don't
11. Optimal: Authoritative parenting
a. Warm and responsive to children
b. Most two common: Authoritative and authoritarian
c. Uninvolved: mostly abused children
12. Example: 4 year old who throws blocks at his friend when playing
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