The Day Care Controversy
High quality day care provides:
Stimulating environment with well-trained caretakers.
Fewer children per caretaker – more individualized attention.
Lower staff turnover.
Low Quality day care provides the opposite.
High-quality childcare did not seem to disrupt infants’ or very young children’s
attachment to parents even when they attended for many hours a week.
Low-quality childcare, combined with many hours there, and parents being
insensitive to the child at home, increased the risk of insecure attachment.
Social Behavior: No significant differences were found between the social behaviors
of children raised exclusively by their mothers when compared to children that
Cognitive Performance: Overall, cognitive performance did not differ significantly.
The Effects of Divorce on Children
Divorce rate 40% by 30 anniversary.
Overall Pattern of Maladjustment
Long Term: greater risk of academic problem, troubled relationships, low
self-esteem and depression.
As Adolescents: more likely to drop out of school, be unemployed, use drugs
and become teen parents.
As Adults: more conflict in relationships, unemployment, depression and
higher divorce rates.
Kohlberg studied why people make the judgments that they do.
Kohlberg’s Stage Model
“A man’s wife was dying from cancer. A rare drug might save her, but the druggist
who made the drug for $200 refuses to sell it for anything less than $2000. The man
tried but he could only come up with $1000. The druggist refused to give the man
the drug for that price, even though the man promised to pay the rest later. So the
man broke into the store to steal the drug.” Preconventional Moral Reasoning: Based on anticipated punishments or rewards.
Stage 1: Children focus on punishments. (The man should steal the drug
because if he lets his wife die he will get in trouble).
Stage 2: Morality is judged by anticipated rewards and doing what is in the
person’s own interest. (The man should steal the drug because that way he’ll
still have his wife with him).
Conventional Moral Reasoning: Based on conformity to social expectations, laws and
Stage 3: Conformity stems from the desire to gain people’s approval. (People
will think that the man is bad if he doesn’t steal the drug to save his wife).
Stage 4: Children believe that laws and duties must be obeyed simply
because rules are meant to be followed. (The man should steal the drug
because it is his duty to take care of his wife).
Postconventional Moral Reasoning: Based on well thought out, general moral
Stage 5: Involves recognizing the importance of societal laws, but also taking
individual rights into account. (Stealing breaks the law, but what the man did
was reasonable because he saved a life).
Stage 6: Morality is based on abstract, ethical principles of justice that are
viewed as universal. (Saving a life comes before financial gain, even if the
person is a stranger. The law in this case is unjust, and stealing the drug is
the morally right thing to do).
Level 1: Preconventional Actual or anticipated punishment and
rewards rather than internalized values.
Stage 1: Punishment/Obedience Obeying rules and avoiding punishment.
Stage 2: Instrumental/Hedonistic Self-interest and gaining rewards
Level 2: Conventional Conformity to the expectations of social
groups; person adopts other people’s
Stage 3: Good Child Orientation Gaining approval and maintaining good
relations with others.
Stage 4: Law and Order Orientation Doing one’s duty, showing respect for
authority, and maintaining social order.
Level 3: Postconventional Moral principles that are well thought
out and part of one’s belief and value
Stage 5: Social Contract Orientation General principles agreed upon by
society that fosters community welfare and individual rights; recognition that
society can decide to modify laws that
lose their social utility.
Stage 6: Universal Ethical Principles Abstract ethical principles based on
justice and equality; following one’s
Childhood through Adolescence
Pre-conventional to conventional reasoning
Adolescence and even Adulthood
Post conventional reasoning is uncommon
A persons moral judgments do not always reflect the same stage
Criticisms of Kohlberg’s Theory
Western culture bias with its focus on fairness and justice.
Male bias with its emphasis on justice. Women place more emphasis on
caring and others’ welfare.
But evidence of gender bias is mixed.
Moral Behavior and Conscience
Moral reasoning doesn’t always lead to moral behavior.
Age 2: Children understand that there are rules and feel guilty if they break a
Development of impulse control is necessary.
Conscience: Internal regulatory mechanism that is present, even when not observed
Freud and Conscience
Freud: Superego (conscience) develops with resolution of Oedipal complex.
Many critics disagree with Freud but do agree that children internalize their
values from their parents especially if:
o Positive relationship with parents.
o Parents establish clear rules.
o Discipline is firm but not harsh.
Conscience and Temperament
Fearful inhibited children: internalize parental values more easily at an
earlier age. Fearless uninhibited children: whether discipline is gentle or harsh, is less
important. Secure attachment with warm parents is more important.
Adolescence and Adulthood
Adolescence: The period of development and gradual transition between childhood
Puberty: A period of rapid maturation in which the person becomes capable of
Identity: Involves our gender, ethnicity, and other attributes that define our self. It is
how we view our personal characteristics. Our goals and values.
Identity Diffusion: Not gone through identity crisis, not concerned about or
committed to values.
Foreclosure: Adopt others’ values without going though an identity crisis.
Moratorium: In an identity crisis, but not yet resolved.
Identity Achievement: Gone through an identity crisis, successfully resolved it and
have a coherent set of values.
Primary Sex Characteristics: the sex organs that are involved in reproduction.
Secondary Sex Characteristics: non-reproductive physical features such as breasts in
women and facial hair in men.
The Adolescent Mind
Greater abstract and hypothetical reasoning.
More flexible reasoning (inductive/deductive).
Greater processing speed.
Working memory more efficient.
Better focus and attention.
Better able to suppress irrelevant responses.
Some teens continue to struggle with formal thinking.
The Adolescent Brain
From childhood to adolescence brain growth slows
But it is still in flux.
New neural connections
Neural pruning Streamlining of neural networks allows better communication.
Neural restructuring in prefrontal cortex and limbic system.
(Upsurge of dopamine activity involved in regulating emotional arousal,
pleasure, and reward and learning.)
Emotional Changes In Adolescence
Overall more positive than negative feelings with changes leveling off later in
34% noted downward change.
16% noted upward change.
Students with less positive emotions had a lower self-esteem and more
negative life events in the prior six months.
Relationship With Parents
80% of American teens thought very highly of and enjoyed spending time
with their parents.
Low conflict with parents.
Can confide in parents.
Yet, many lied to parents within the last year (30-70%)
Parent-Teen Conflict correlated with:
More school misconduct.
More anti-social behavior.
More drug use.
Less life satisfaction.
Relationship with Peers
Peer relationships more important in teens.
Spend most time with peers
Greater sharing of problems
Facilitate separation from parents and developing identity.
Influence each others’ values and behavior
Peer pressure against conduct has a strong effect. Transition into Adulthood
In order of importance, the items necessary to be an adult:
Individualism: responsible for ones actions; attain financial freedom.
Family Capacities: Able to care for and support a family.
Norm Capacities: Refrain from crime, irresponsible sex and drug use.
Biological Transition: Be able to father/bear children.
Legal/Chronological: Drivers license; reach age of maturity.
Role Transitions: Full time employment; career; get married.
Development in Adulthood
Adolescent Egocentrism: A self-absorbed and distorted view of one’s uniqueness
Post Formal Thought: People can reason logically about opposing points of view and
accept contradictions and irreconcilable differences.
Information Processing Abilities and the Time They Decline
Perceptual Speed Early Adulthood (As early as 20’s)
Memory for New Factual Information During Adulthood
Spatial Memory Declines gradually with age.
Recall Strongly in Late Adulthood