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PSYC21H3 (62)

Chapter 7.docx

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David Haley

Chapter 7: Family: Early and Enduring Influences  What is a family? : It is a social unit which adult spouses or partners and their children share - Economic - Social - And emotional rights and responsibilities and a sense of commitment and identification with each other  Family is children’s earliest and sustained social contact  They share memories of the past and expectations  Families are systems for socialization: the process by which parents and others teach children the standards of behavior, attitudes, skills and motives deemed appropriate for their society  The family system is composed of “subsystems” : a family system is : a group of people composed of interdependent members and subsystems; changes in the behavior of one member of the family affect the functioning of other members. The Family system:  Changes in the behavior of one member of the family affect the functioning of the other members  Family members influence each other both directly and indirectly  Direct effects: praising or criticizing , hugging or spanking  Indirect effects: two step process: fathers affect their children indirectly by modifying their relationship with their mother, which then affects the child’s development  In a well functioning family, parents have a good relationship with each other and are caring and supportive of their children, children are cooperative and responsible and care for their parents  A dysfunctional family system: parents have an unhappy marriage, they are irritable with their children, and the children have antisocial behavior which makes parent problems even bigger  Negative patterns of interaction intensify and solidify in families with a n aggressive child  The key to a good family functioning is adaptability The Couple System:  The “founding” subsystem within the family system joins the two partners  The quality of the couple’s union facilitates or does not help: the quality of parenting, sibling relationships, and children’s development How does the couple’s relationship affect children?  Partners who give emotional and physical support to each other are likely to do the same with their children  When parents are mutually supportive, they are more involved with their children, their child- rearing practices are more competent and their relationships with their children are more affectionate and responsive  Parents in conflict inflict problems on their children  When conflict occurs in the early years, the children are unlikely to develop emotionally secure attachments to their parents  When conflict occurs in later years, the children are likely to become aggressive or depressed  Study: mark cummings: showed children live or videotaped interactions between adult actors behaving like two conflicted parents in a home settling o The more frequent and violent their conflicts and the more often the arguments were about something a child had done or said, the more likely children became upset and blame themselves for the incident o When actors failed to settle dispute, children were more angry and distressed than when the adults resolved their conflicts o Children who observed intense and destructive conflicts between their parents suffered from emotional insecurity, depression and anxiety, behavior problems, relationship difficulties and poor emotion regulation even in years later o If parent’s handled their conflicts constructively, the harmful effects on the child were lessened o Children were more likely to have problems if parents fought frequently with resolution  Parents in conflicted marriages are likely to have parenting styles that are angry and intrusive  Children then show a lot of anger back at their parents  Social learning theory: children learn how to interact with people and resolve conflicts by watching their parents  Attachment theory: as a result of exposure to conflict between their parents, children experience emotional arousal and distress and develop a sense of emotional insecurity with leads to later problems in social interactions  Cognitive theory: the impact of parental conflict depends on how children understand it o If they perceive the conflicts as being their fault, they are more likely to act out o If parents resolve their conflicts, the children are less likely to have these problems because they expect that they are also able to resolve their problems  4 theory: Poor mental health accounts for the effects of parental conflict on children’s functioning o Found that parental depression mediated the impact of marital distress on adolescents’ depressive symptoms  5 theory: the effect of parental con
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