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Lecture

Chapter 14 The Family.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB20H3
Professor
Ella Daniel
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 14 The Family ORIGINSAND FUNCTIONS OFTHE FAMILY Family: an enduring commitment between a man and a woman who feed, shelter, and nurture their children until they reach maturity From an evolutionary perspective, the human family enhanced survival by ensuring an even balance of males (hunters) and females (gatherers) within a social group to provide protection against starvation when food was scarce An extended relationship between a male and female motivates the male to invest in child rearing to increase the odds of child survival The family provides the following vital services for society: 1. Reproduction: replacing dying members 2. Economic services: producing and distributing goods and services 3. Social order: devising procedures for reducing conflict and maintaining order 4. Socialization: training the young to become competent, participating members of society 5. Emotional support: helping others surmount emotional crises and fostering in each person a sense of commitment and purpose Other institutions developed when the demands could no longer be met by only the family But the family continues to assume primary responsibility for 3 important functions for children: 6. Reproduction 7. Socialization 8. Emotional support The social systems perspective views the family as a complex set of interacting relationships influenced by the larger social context THE FAMILYASA SOCIALSYSTEM The term family system implies that there is a network of interdependent relationships DIRECT INFLUENCES Parents who are firm but warm have children who tend to comply with their requests Parents who discipline with harshness and impatience tend to have children who resist and rebel INDIRECT INFLUENCES Interaction between any two family members is affected by others present in the setting (the effect of third parties) Arange of relationships can modify the child’s experiences in the family Third parties can be supports for development but they can also undermine it Co-parenting allows for secure attachment relationships with their babies as well as fosters a positive marriage Unresolved parental conflict causes problems for children Grandparents can also promote children’s development ADAPTING TO CHANGE The interplay of forces within the family is dynamic and ever-changing, as each member adapts to the development of other members When adolescents want more autonomy, the parents want more togetherness The imbalance promotes friction and requires both parties to accommodate to changes in each other THE FAMILY SYSTEM IN CONTEXT Social systems perspective views the family as affected by surrounding social contexts 9. Formal organizations, such as school, workplace, recreation centre, child-care centre, and religious institution 10. Informal social networks of relatives, friends, and neighbours 11. They both influence parent-child relationships Children and youths who moved into neighbourhoods with less poverty showed substantially better physical and mental health and school achievement Strong family ties to the surrounding social context reduce family stress and adjustment problems 12. Provision of social support 13. Parental self-worth 14. Parental access to valuable information and services 15. Child-rearing controls and role models 16. Direct assistance with child rearing Better Beginnings, Better Futures Project aimed at preventing the dire consequences of neighbourhood poverty SOCIALIZATION WITHIN THE FAMILY Parents start to socialize their children in earnest during the second year By serving as models and reinforcers of mature behaviour, by using reasoning and inductive discipline, and by guiding and encouraging children’s mastery of new skills STYLES OF CHILD REARING Child-rearing styles are combinations of parenting behaviours that occur over a wide range of situations, creating an enduring child-rearing climate Diana Baum rind gathered information on child rearing by watching parents interact with their pre-schoolers Findings: 17. Acceptance of the child and involvement in the child’s life, which establishes an emotional connection with the child 18. Behavioural control of the child through expectations, rules, and supervision, which promotes more mature behaviour Autonomy granting, which encourages self-reliance Authoritative Child Rearing The authoritative child-rearing style—the most successful approach—involves high acceptance and involvement, adaptive control techniques, and appropriate autonomy granting Parents are warm, attentive, and sensitive to their child’s needs Establish an enjoyable, emotionally fulfilling parent–child relationship that draws the child into close connection Exercise firm, reasonable behavioural control: They insist on appropriate maturity, give reasons for their expectations, use disciplinary encounters as “teaching moments” to promote the child’s self-regulation, and monitor their child’s whereabouts and activities Gradual, appropriate autonomy granting, allowing the child to make decisions in areas where he is ready to make choices Premium on communication, encouraging the child to express her thoughts, feelings, and desires Joint decision making Increases the likelihood that the child will listen to their perspective in situations where compliance is vital Linked to many aspects of competence—an upbeat mood, self-control, task persistence, academic achievement, cooperativeness, high self-esteem, responsiveness to parents’ views, and social and moral maturity Authoritarian Child Rearing The authoritarian child-rearing style is low in acceptance and involvement, high in coercive behavioural control, and low in autonomy granting Make decisions for their child and expect the child to accept their word unquestioningly Authoritarian parents resort to force and punishment Hold excessively high expectations that do not fit the child’s developing capacities Children of authoritarian parents are more likely to be anxious, unhappy, and low in self-esteem and self-reliance 19. Boys, especially, show high rates of anger and defiance 20. Girls also engage in acting-out behaviour, they are more likely to be dependent, lacking interest in exploration, and overwhelmed by challenging tasks Children with these parents achieve poorly in school Because of their parents’concern with controlling their behaviour, they tend to achieve better and to commit fewer antisocial acts than peers with undemanding parents The authoritarian style suppresses children’s self-expression and independence Authoritarian parents often engage in psychological control, in which they attempt to take advantage of children’s psychological needs by intruding on and manipulating their verbal expressions, individuality, and attachments to parents These parents frequently interrupt or put down the child’s ideas, decisions, and choice of friends When they are dissatisfied, they withdraw love, making their affection or attention contingent on the child’s compliance Children and adolescents subjected to psychological control exhibit adjustment problems involving both anxious, withdrawn and defiant, aggressive behaviours and they are impaired in identity development once they reach early adulthood Permissive Child Rearing The permissive child-rearing style is warm and accepting but uninvolved Permissive parents are either overindulgent or inattentive and, thus, engage in little behavioural control Instead of gradually granting autonomy, they allow children to make many decisions for themselves at an age when they are not yet capable of doing so Children do not have to learn good manners or do household chores These parents simply lack confidence in their ability to influence their child’s behaviour Children of permissive parents tend to be impulsive, disobedient, and rebellious Also overly demanding and dependent on adults, and they show reduced task persistence, poorer academic achievement, and more antisocial behaviour Uninvolved Child Rearing The uninvolved child-rearing style combines low acceptance and involvement with little behavioural control and general indifference to issues of autonomy Parents are emotionally detached and depressed Failing to engage in strategies to promote long-term goals, such as establishing and enforcing rules about homework and social behaviour, listening to the child’s point of view, providing guidance about appropriate choices, and monitoring the child’s whereabouts and activities At its extreme, uninvolved parenting is a form of child maltreatment called neglect It disrupts virtually all aspects of development Children and adolescents display many problems, including school achievement difficulties, depression, anger, and antisocial behaviour WHAT MAKES THEAUTHORITATIVE STYLE EFFECTIVE? Children’s characteristics do contribute to the ease with which parents can apply the authoritative style Temperamentally fearless, impulsive children and emotionally negative, difficult children are more likely to evoke coercive, inconsistent discipline Extra warmth and firm control succeed in modifying these children’s maladaptive styles With fearful, inhibited children, parents must suppress their tendency to overprotect and take over solving the child’s social problems—practices that worsen the shy child’s difficulties Inhibited children benefit from extra encouragement to be assertive and to express their autonomy Longitudinal evidence indicates that among children of diverse temperaments, authoritative child rearing in the preschool years predicts maturity and adjustment a decade later in adolescence, whereas authoritarian or permissive child rearing predicts adolescent immaturity and adjustment difficulties Over time, the relationship between parenting and children’s attributes becomes increasingly bidirectional as each participant modifies the actions of the other and, on the basis of past interactions, forms expectancies for the other’s behaviour The more parents knew about their child’s whereabouts and activities, the greater the decline in delinquent acts over time Parents who exert appropriate oversight are likely to parent effectively in other ways as well, giving adolescents both less opportunity and less reason to engage in delinquency Parents who take proactive steps to intervene in their teenager’s antisocial acts set the stage for a more positive parent–child relationship, in which teenagers are more willing to provide them with information When monitoring is lax and delinquency rises, parent–adolescent interaction may become increasingly negative Authoritative child rearing seems to create a positive emotional context for parental influence in the following ways: Warm, involved parents who are secure in the standards they hold for their children provide models of caring concern as well as confident, self-controlled behaviour Children are far more likely to comply with and internalize behavioural control that appears fair and reasonable, not arbitrary and excessive Parents who combine warmth with rational and reasonable behavioural control are likely to be more effective reinforcing agents, praising children for striving to meet their expectations and making good use of disapproval, which works best when applied by an adult who has been warm and caring By making demands and engaging in autonomy granting that fit with children’s ability to take responsibility for their own behaviour, authoritative parents let children know that they are competent individuals who can do things successfully for themselves Supportive features of the authoritative style are a powerful source of resilience, protecting children from the negative effects of family stress and poverty ADAPTING CHILD REARING TO CHILDREN’S DEVELOPMENT Parenting in Middle Childhood: Coregulation Children’s growing independence means that parents must deal with new issues Child rearing becomes easier for parents who established an authoritative style during the early years Reasoning is more effective with school-age children because of their greater capacity for logical thinking and their increased respect for parents’expert knowledge As children demonstrate that they can manage daily activities and responsibilities, effective parents gradually shift control from adult to child Coregulation: a form of supervision in which parents exercise general oversight while letting children take charge of moment-by-moment decision making 21. Coregulation supports and protects children while preparing them for adolescence, when they will make many important decisions themselves Parenting in Adolescence: Fostering Autonomy During adolescence, striving for autonomy—a sense of oneself as a separate, self-governing individual—becomes a salient task Two vital aspects: 22. Emotional component—relying more on oneself and less on parents for support and guidance 23. Behavioural component—making decisions independently by carefully weighing one’s own judgment and the suggestions of others to arrive at a well- reasoned course of action Young people who successfully construct personally meaningful values and life goals are autonomous Given up childish dependency on parents for a more mature, responsible relationship Improved ability to reason about social relationships leads adolescents to de-idealize their parents, viewing them as “just people” Effective parenting of adolescents strikes a balance between connection and separation Parents who are coercive or psychologically controlling interfere with the development of autonomy Rapid physical and psychological changes of adolescence trigger conflicting expectations in parent–child relationships Middle-aged parents must come to terms with the fact that their own possibilities are narrowing Teenagers fail to appreciate that parents want the family to be together as often as possible because an important period in their adult life—child rearing—will soon end Immigrant parents from cultures that place a high value on family closeness and obedience to authority have greater difficulty adapting to their teenagers’push for autonomy, often reacting more strongly to adolescent disagreement Acculturative stress is associated with a decline in self-esteem and a rise in anxiety, depressive symptoms, and deviant behaviour, including alcohol use and delinquency Throughout adolescence, the quality of the parent–child relationship is the single most consistent predictor of mental health Teenagers living in risky neighbourhoods tend to have more trusting relationships with parents and adjust more favourably when their parents maintain tighter control and pressure them not to engage in worrisome behaviours In harsh surroundings, young people seem to interpret more measured granting of autonomy as a sign of parental caring SOCIOECONOMICAND ETHNIC VARIATIONS IN CHILD REARING Socioeconomic Status Education and earnings are powerfully influential, with occupation playing a lesser but nevertheless important role SES is linked to timing of parenthood and to family size People who work in skilled and semiskilled manual occupations (for example, construction workers, truck drivers, and custodians) tend to marry and have children earlier, as well as give birth to more children, than people in professional and technical occupations Groups also differ in child-rearing values and expectations Lower-SES parents tend to emphasize external characteristics, such as obedience, politeness, neatness, and cleanliness, higher-SES parents emphasize psychological traits, such as curiosity, happiness, self-direction, and cognitive and social maturity Greater economic security enables parents to devote more time, energy, and material resources to nurturing their children’s psychological characteristics High levels of stress sparked by economic insecurity contribute to low-SES parents’reduced provision of stimulating interaction and activities as well as greater use of coercive discipline Poverty When daily crises arise, parents become depressed, irritable, and distracted; hostile interactions increase; and children’s development suffers Negative outcomes are especially severe in single-parent families, in families who must live in poor housing and dangerous neighbourhoods, and in homeless families— conditions that make everyday existence even more difficult, while reducing social supports that assist in coping with economic hardship Reduced parental involvement and depleted home learning environments profoundly affect poor children’s cognitive and emotional well-being Affluence Affluent parents—those in prestigious occupations with six-figure annual incomes—too often fail to engage in family interaction and parenting that promote favourable development They were more likely than low-SES youths to engage in alcohol and drug use and to report high levels of anxiety and depression Among affluent (but not low-SES) teenagers, substance use was correlated with anxiety and depression, suggesting that wealthy youths took drugs to self-medicate—a practice that predicts persistent abuse Wealthy parents are nearly as physically and emotionally unavailable to their youngsters as parents coping with serious financial strain These parents often make excessive demands for achievement Adolescents whose parents value their accomplishments more than their character and emotional well-being are more likely to have academic and emotional problems Ethnicity Compared with Western parents, Chinese parents describe their parenting as less warm and more controlling Chinese parents may appear less warm than Western parents because they withhold praise, which they believe results in self-satisfied and poorly motivated children In Hispanic families,Asian Pacific Island families, and Caribbean families of African and East Indian origin, firm insistence on respect for parental authority is paired with high parental warmth—a combination suited to promoting competence and strong feelings of family loyalty In Caribbean families that have immigrated to the United States, fathers’authoritativeness—but not mothers’—predicted pre-schoolers’literacy and math skills, probably because Caribbean fathers take a larger role in guiding their children’s academic progress Low-SESAfrican-American parents tend to expect immediate obedience Strict control may have a positive effect, preventing antisocial involvements MostAfrican-American parents who use strict, “no-nonsense” discipline use physical punishment sparingly and combine it with warmth and reasoning The extended-family household, in which one or more adult relatives live with the parent–child nuclear family unit, is a vital feature of ethnic minority family life that has enabled many families to rear children successfully, despite severe economic deprivation and prejudice FAMILY LIFESTYLES AND TRANSITIONS Families in industrialized nations have become more diverse Children’s well-being, in each instance, depends on the quality of family interaction, which is sustained by supportive ties to kin and community and by favourable public policies FROM LARGE TO SMALL FAMILIES Amajor reason for this decline is that a family size of one or two children is more compatible with a woman’s decision to divide her energies between family and work Marital instability plays a role: More couples today get divorced before their childbearing plans are complete Caring for children and providing them with opportunities is expensive—yet another contributing factor to a smaller family size Family Size and Child Development Children’s mental test performance did not decline with later birth order—a finding that contradicts the belief that having more children depresses their intellectual ability The larger the family, the lower the scores of all siblings Other evidence confirms that rather than parenting quality declining as new children are born, parents reallocate their energies Young people with lower mental test scores—many of whom dropped out of school, live in poverty, lack hope for their future, and fail to engage in family planning—are most likely to have large families Growing Up with Siblings 80 percent of NorthAmerican and European children grow up with at least one sibling Siblings influence development both directly, through relationships with one another, and indirectly, through the impact of an additional child on parents’behaviour The arrival of a baby brother or sister is a difficult experience for most pre-schoolers, who—realizing that they must now share their parents’attention and affection—often become demanding, clingy, and deliberately naughty for a time Older children also show affection and sympathetic concern—kissing and patting the
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