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Department
Psychology
Course
PS275
Professor
Carolyn Ensley
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 14 - The Family Origins and Functions of the Family • The family in its most common form - a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman who feed, shelter, and nurture their children until they reach maturity • Economic and social obligations among members were essential for survival • Strong emotional bonds evolved to foster long-term commitment among family members • The family unit of our ancestors preformed these services for society: Reproduction Economic services: producing/distributing goods Social order: developing procedures to deal with conflict Socialization: training their young to be competent and participating members of society emotional support • As societies became more complex, demands placed on families became too hard to sustain alone • Institutions developed to assist with some of the functions o Political/legal institutions, schools/religious institutions • Family continues to assume responsibility for three important things concerned with children: Reproduction Socialization Emotional support • Social systems perspective: viewing the family as a complex set of interacting relationships influences by the larger social context. The Family as a Social System • Social system perspective on family functioning grew out of researchers efforts to describe and explain the complex patterns of interaction between family members. • Common with Brofenbrenner's ecological systems theory • Family systems theorists recognize that parents do not mechanically shape their children • Bidirectional influences exist, whereby family members mutually influence each other • System influences operate both directly and indirectly: Direct influences: • o Families of diverse ethnicities prove that when parents are warm but firm children are more likely to comply to their requests • When they cooperate, parents are likely to be more warm and gentle in the future o Parents who discipline with harshness and impatience tend to have children who resist and rebel o The behaviour of one family member helps sustain a form of interaction in another that either promotes or undermines children's well-being • Indirect Influences o The impact of family relationships on child development becomes even more complicated when we consider that interaction between any two family members is affected by others present in the setting • Bronfenbrenner called these the effect of third parties o Third parties can support development or undermine it. o Co-parenting: mutually supporting each other's parenting behaviours • More attachment relationships with their babies • Praise and stimulate their children more • Nag and scold them less o Parents whose marriage is tense and hostile often interfere with one another's child-rearing efforts • Less responsive to child's needs • More likely to criticize • Express anger and punish o Children who are chronically exposed to angry, unsolved parental conflict show myriad problems related to undisputed emotional security and emotional self-regulation. • Include internalizing difficulties (among girls):  Blaming themselves, feeling worried and fearful, trying to repair parent's relationship • Include externalizing difficulties (among boys):  Anger and aggression o Parental arguments strain children's adjustment, but other family members may help restore effective interaction • Grandparents, for example. • Adapting to Change o Interplay of forces within family is dynamic and ever-changing, as each member adapts to the development of other members • Example: as children acquire new skills, parents adjust the way they treat their more competent youngsters o Changes in child-rearing pave the way for new achievements and further revisions in family relationships • The Family System in Context o The social systems perspectives views the family as affected by surrounding social contexts o As meosystems and exosystems, connections to the neighbourhood and the large community influence parent-child relationships o Provision of social support leads to the following benefits: • Parental interpersonal acceptance • Parental access to valuable information and services • Child-rearing controls and role models • Direct assistance with child rearing Socialization within the Family • socialization centers on children's development • Parents start to socialize their children in earnest during the second year, when toddlers are first able to comply with their directives • As children get older, parents gradually step up the socialization pressures • Vary greatly in how they go about the task Styles of Child-Rearing: • o Child rearing styles: combinations of parents behaviours that occur over a wide range of situations, creating an enduring child-rearing climate o Baumrind gather information on child-rearing by watching parents interact with their preschoolers. o Reveals three features that consistently differentiate an effective style from less effective one: • Acceptance of the child and involvement in the child's life  Establishes emotional connection with the child • Control of the child  Promotes more mature behaviour • Autonomy granting  Encourages self-reliance Child Acceptance and Control Autonomy Granting rearing involvement style Authoritativ Is warm, responsive, Makes reasonable Permits the child to e attentive, patient and demands for maturity and make decisions in sensitive to the child's consistently enforces and accord to readiness. needs explains them Encourages child to express thoughts, feelings, and desires Authoritaria Is cold and rejecting Males many demands Makes decisions for n and frequently coercively, using force andthe child degrades child punishment Rarely listens to the Often engages in child's point of view psychological control, withdrawing love and intruding on the child's individuality Permissive Is warm but Makes few or no demands Permits the child to overindulgent or make many decisions inattentive before the child is ready Uninvolved Is emotionally Makes few or no demands Is indifferent to the detached and child's decision making withdrawn (neglect) and point of view. • What makes authoritative child-rearing style effective? o Seems to create a positive emotional context for parental influence in the following ways: • Children are more likely to comply with and internalize control that appears fair and reasonable 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. • Parents who combine warmth with rational and reasonable control are likely to be more effective reinforcing agents • By making demands and engaging in autonomy granting that fit the child ability to take responsibility, authoritative parents let children know that they are competent individuals o Supportive aspects of the authoritative style include parental acceptance, involvement and rational control as a powerful source of resilience, protecting children from the negative effects of family stress and poverty • Adapting child rearing to children's development o Parenting in middle childhood: Co-regulation • The amount of time spend with the child declines dramatically • Growing independence means that parents must deal with new issues • Child rearing becomes easier for those who established authoritative style during early years • Reasoning is more effective with school-age children • As child shows responsibility, effective parents gradually shift control from adult to child • Engage in co-regulation: a form of supervision in which parents exercise general oversight while letting children take charge of moment-by-moment decision making  Grows out of warm, cooperative relationship • Parents guide, monitor from a distance • Effectively communicate expectations when they are with their children • Children must inform parents of their whereabouts, activities, and problems so parents can intervene if needed. • Socioeconomic and Ethnic Variations in Child Rearing o Socioeconomic Status (SES): • As it rises and falls, families face changing circumstances that affect family functioning with each component of SES contributing • Education and earnings exert substantial influence with occupation playing a lesser but nevertheless important role • Linked to parenthood and family size Low-SES parents High-SES parents Qualities external characteristics like Psychological traits like desired for obedience, politeness, curiosity, happiness, self- children neatness, cleanliness direction, and cognitive/social maturity Family Commands, criticism, and Talk to, read to, and stimulate interaction physical punishment their babies/preschoolers more Education Greater use of coercive Interest in providing verbal makes a discipline stimulation and nurturing difference inner traits Devote more time, energy and resources to nurturing children o Affluence: • Affluent parents too often fail to engage in family interaction and parenting that promotes healthy development o Poverty: • Effective parenting and children's development is profoundly threatened • Constant stressors weaken the family system • Negative outcomes are severe with single-parent families that live in poor housing, etc. • Profoundly affects children's cognitive and emotional well-being • Poverty that begins early and persists has devastating effects on children's physical and mental health, intelligence and school achievement o Ethnicity • Ethnic minority parents have distinct child-rearing beliefs and practices • Chinese parents parenting is less warm and more controlling  Directive teaching and scheduling - way of fostering self- control and high achievement  Withhold praise  When practices become excessive: children display negative outcomes like anxiety, depression and aggressive behaviour (like Western Children) • Hispanic families: respect for parental authority is paired with high parental warmth • Low-SES African-American parents tend to expect immediate obedience  When living in depleted housing, strict control may have positive effects on preventing anti-social environments • Extended family household: where one or more adult relative lives with the parent-child • Nuclear family unit: is a vital feature of ethnic minority family life that as enabled many families to rear children successfully, despite severe economic deprivation and prejudice Family Lifestyles and Transitions • From Large to Small Families o Average number of children in the U.S. Dropped from 3.1 in 1960 to 1.3 today. o Two reasons for the decline in family size: • Birth control • Women's decision to divide her energies between family and work o Marriage instability plays an important role: divorced before childbearing plans are over o Family size and development: • Advice recommends limiting family size in the interests of "child quality" • Good reasons for limiting family size:  Concern that additional births with reduce children's intelligence  People with lower mental scores are more likely to have larger families o Growing up with siblings: • They influence development both directly, through relationships with one another and indirectly, through the impact of an additional child on parents' behaviour • The quality of sibling relationships:  Emergence of sibling relationships: • Arrival of baby is a difficult experience • Now they have to share parents attention • Become demanding, clingy, deliberately naughty • Resentment is only one feature of a rich emotional relationship that soon develops • Older children show affection and sympathetic concern • Sibling interactions b
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