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Lecture 12

Lecture 12 notes

African Studies
Course Code
Steven Rockel

of 6
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Two potential influences on children:
1. Family
2. Peer structure
Family is without a doubt the important factor for the development of a child
Within a family child experiences first commitments, relationships, emotional
attachments, bonds
Social relations within the family form prototypes for the nature of
relationships the child will have later on in life
Family is also a source of social conflict
Within family that child undergoes discipline and conflicts
First experiences conflict for resources, how to begin to influence other
peoples behaviour, compliance
Many non human primates live in groups, but do not break into family units
Five fundamental functions that are necessary if a society wants to
1. Reproduction
2. Economic Services
3. Societal Order
4. Socialization
5. Emotional Support
In early human history the family unit played a role in all 5 functions, as
society evolved the family became less involved in all 5 units
Political institutions and law institutions take care of societal order
Schools provide socialization
Religion provides emotional support
Work produces goods and services, families no longer produce economic
services but are rather consumers
Family unit is still involved in reproduction, socialization, emotional support
oThose 3 are most directly involved with children
Family Socialization
Influences are bidirectional
Also influenced by other family members, child to child, parent to parent
Correlation: parents feel that they are more competent as parents when the
marital relationship is good
All the relationships are placed within a larger societal context
oHigher rates of psychopathology in urban setting due to fragmental
community connections
oStrong ties between family and community act as a buffer for family
Why are social ties effective buffers against family stress?
1. Neighbours, relatives can talk to parents about any issues, enhancing parents
self confidence
2. Minor things, do you know a good butcher, babysitter, etc
a. Also helps parents relationship
3. Parents can see other models for child rearing, trade tips, experiences
4. As child becomes more active in community network, they form connections
with more adults, and theses adults can influence the child in a more positive
Ex. Soccer coach is presumably a positive influence on the child
These associations provide clues as to the type of parenting that produce
Dimensions of Parenting
How responsive is the parent to the child, how much do they praise the child
Warm parents are parents that tend to respond to the childs needs, instead
of flustering or ignoring the needs
Praises child even when child has no reason to be praised
Warm parents have a much more positive impact that cold or rejectful
Waxler, Yarrow, King
Had mothers of one and two year olds, asked parents to keep track of child’s
behaviour when child sees someone in distress
The parents rated as more responsive had children who were much more
likely to have children who comforted a peer who was hurt
Sometimes the playmate wasn’t only hurt, but child was the one who caused
the playmate to get hurt
oWhen the child was the one who caused the hurt, they tracked to see
whether child showed reparation behaviour
Young children are very much affected by parents behaviour to them and
also to each other
No parent wants a child that is viewed as being out of control
Most parents realize that control can be excessive
Don’t want too much control nor too little, but rather finding a balance
oThis advice is hard to follow because the middle ground is unsure
Two ways of categorizing control: positive aspects and negative aspects
Positive aspects
Parents who have no expectations for their child to behave a certain way,
have children who do not behave a certain way
Parent shouldn’t just have high expectations but rather train child as well, so
that the child can meet the expections
Should be realistic expectations
Children can form anxiety from parents demands
Even two year olds obey rules better when parents are consistent with
enforcing rules
oChildren have better self control, stop themselves earlier from
Not absolute, parents will sometimes not be consistent in enforcing rules
Open communications, parents not only set rule, but also explain why rule
Allows child to discuss rules as well and express their opinions
Not all rules are up for discussion, not about being permissive, but rather
allowing child to talk
Child understands why they cant do a certain thing, so they are more likely to
obey the rules and less likely to obey them
Situational management- parents anticipate a problem so they arrange for
the childs behaviour to be appropriate.
oEx. Trying to get through supermarket without 2 year old having a
oResearchers followed mothers around, found that children asked for
something once every minute
oMothers mostly said no, sometimes explained why not
oAttempt to divert attention, bring snacks, books, toys for the child to
play with
oMore successful in getting across supermarket
Negative Aspects
Power assertion; You are gonna obey this rule because I say so
omissing opportunity to explain rules, or nature of punishment, to
promote self control.
Affective in short term, parents get immediate compliance from children
In the long run it can be potentially harmful
oChild fails to develop internal standards for their behaviour
oWill obey rules when they think they will be punished, if they think they
won’t be punished they won’t obey the rules
There are sometimes effective reasons for using power assertion: when a parent
needs immediate compliance
Parents attitudes and behaviours