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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 3040
Cindy Clarke

 Midterm Stud  y Notes  FRHD 3040 WEEK ONE: UNILATERAL MODELS What is Theory? • Fundamental beliefs, and assumptions about nature of a phenomenon. • Used to understand, predict and guide interventions and new research • Explicit theories: Formal propositions determine how scientists define the research and problem to be solved • Implicit theories: Informal “common sense taken for grant” determines how people and scientists think about the phenomenon everyday in life • All contain assumptions • Nature of Child • Nature of relationship • Nature of processes • Causality • Desirable outcomes Illustrations of common sense cultural theories of parenting • Metaphor and aphorisms (popular sayings • Ordinary language • Child influence as “cute” Two Main types of theory in parenting: Direction of Causality • Unidirectional model (parent affects child) mechanistic: something like a machine where one affects the other • Bidirectional models (parent affects child and vice versa) more dynamic Shift in Parenting Theory Research • 1900s-1960s: unidirectional theories and interventions • 1970s to present: slow but consistent acceptance of bidirectional or dynamic models: not there yet! Unidirectional still dominant especially in way research questions are asked and in parental education and intervention • Uneven uptake • Lots of resistance along the way • Before in the 1960s and prior there were surveys conducted to determine the unidirectionality as valid but only the parents were filling them out because the infants can’t, it is not until they watched the interactions of mother and child that the bidirectionality was discovered Why is bidirectionality such a difficult idea? • The unidirectional model is a common sense taken for granted theory reinforced by culture • Hard to take child influence seriously • Scientists like everyone else are prone to cultural ideas of how parenting works Unidirectional model as a cultural common sense model of parenting • Natural language • Parent: teaches, manages, controls, disciplines, rewards, nurtures, shapes, molds, transmits, parents • Child: complies, obeys, internalizes, submits, learns, receives, identifies with, listens, imitates • “Parenting” why not “filiating”: this meaning looks at the relationship between parent and child and not just the parent parenting Cultural Barriers to perception of child agency • Parent is suppose to be an active agent and the child is a passive agent • Unequal language and concepts for describing same behaviours in parent and child • A child complies with parent’s request but the parent is responsive to child’s requests • A child defies is disobedient but a parent refuses controls, disciplines Implicit Assumptions of Unilateral Model (Parent -> Child) • CAUSALITY: unidirectional: parent=cause and child=effect • AGENCY: Unequal agency: Parent=active and child=passive • POWER: Asymmetry: Parent=powerful and child= powerless • CONTEXT: No context separate individuals • Agency: capacity to be an actor with ability to makes sense of environment, initiate action, plan and make choices Research Flows from Theory • Parent (predictor, cause and independent variable -> • Child (outcome dependent variable) • Focus on parental antecedents and child consequences • Product of parenting not process • Goal is generally that of prediction rather than understanding the process of interaction between parent and child • How does the antecedent cause the outcome Consequence of Unilateral Thinking • Parent->child • Mother blaming • The experience of parenting • Parent Blaming: a cultural manifestation of unilateral model (everyone is pointing fingers at the parent or more so the mother) an example is London Riots Parent Blaming • Popular culture in the 1980s and the adult child movement • Implicit parent blame theory state in poetry: they fuck you up, your mom and dad, they may not mean to, but they do, they fill you with some faults they had, and add dome others just for you • Mother blaming in Major Clinical Journals: survey of 125 articles in clinical journals published in the 1970,1976 ad 1982 • Found that 72 kinds of psychopathology attributed to mothers • These included: absence of gentility, aggressiveness, agitation, agoraphobia, anal obsession, anorexia nervosa, anxiety or fear, arson, bad dreams, behaviour problems, bizarre behaviour, chronic vomiting, delinquency/criminality, delusions, denial of pregnancy, dependency, depression, encopresis, enuresis, failure to mourm, fear of separation, fetishism, act. Why Mother Blame? • By product of: unidirectional models of parenting • Of patriarchal social arrangements • Of idealization of mothers • Of historical changes in family (i.e. mothers working outside the home) • Misunderstanding of complex nature of causality in parent child relationships Causality is not the same thing as responsibility • Causality refers to direct influence and responsibility means moral or legal accountability • Society makes parents responsible for socializing children • Causality is much more complicated • Some outcomes have nothing to do with parents • Genetic influences • Childs choices • Siblings and extended family • Peers and friends • Community and culture More Myths: the way we never were: mythical ideas about traditional families • Parental families sometimes held up as eroding family values in modern families • Current families held up against a mythical yard stick of families in the past • Traditional values include: segregation and unequal treatment of genders, ethnic groups and hidden family violence • The history of unidirectional theory and research indicates that a parents characteristics attitudes and goal strategies affect the child’s characteristics, compliance and outcomes History • 1) Importance of early experience • Psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud • Behaviourism of John Watson and his conditioning of little Albert • Watson: Unilateral Manifesto and his deterministic view of parents as causes: • Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar- man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years. (1930) • 2) Early Caretaking Antecedents psychoanalytic theory (1930­1940) • Breast and bottle feeding  • Demand/ schedule caretaking  • Early and late toilet training  • 3) 1940.50 Reaction of Authoritarianism: studying the roots of authoritarian  personality  • Good parenting as democracy  • I.e. Baldwin, Kalhom Breese 1945 demonstrated that democratic styles of  leadership was associated with greater initiative and competence than  authoritarian harsh parenting  • 4) Global Dimensions of Parenting: Factor analysis studies of parental attitudes  (1940­50)  • Acceptance: Warmth­hostility  • Control: restrictive­permissive  • Still persists despite criticism  • E.g. Behavioural vs. psychological control  • 1930s­40­50s suggested less strict parenting  • More unconditional acceptance  • But there was a backlash • 5) Parenting Styles (1968­present) Diana Baumrind • Authoritarian: firm control and low warmth  • Authoritative: firm control and high warmth  • Permissive: Low control and high warmth  • Still influential despite the criticism  Baumrind • She thought that control was the key to difference and cautioned against  permissiveness or democratic • Authoritative parents were thought to be better at communicating demands to  children than were the authoritarian parents because would consider child’s point  of view before deciding • Baumrind 2012 argues that firm control ideally should be confronting rather than  coercive  • Coercive: abusive angry psychologically belittling  • She defined confrontative power assertion as confronts when child disobeys,  cannot be coerced by the child, successfully exerts force or influence, enforces  after initial non compliance, exercises power unambivalently, uses negative  sanctions freely and discourages defiant stance. Includes spanking  • Problem: still one sided and does not consider much  • The meaning of warmth:  How do parents do warmth? Maybe it’s the main event Critiques of Baumrind’s Parenting Styles • Stronger conceptually than empirically. Many parents could not be categorized  (i.e. Harmonious parents)  • Many parents exhibited a combination of styles  • Concept of parenting style is too broad and that more research needs to be  conducted to unpack parenting styles  • Do not capture the important themes of bidirectionality, reciprocal exchanges  mutuality  Revised Parenting Styles   • Fourfold Scheme of Parenting styles  Accepting, responsible  Rejecting, unresponsive,  child ­center parent­centered  Demanding, Controlling  Authoritative reciprocal,  Authoritarian, power  high is bidirectional  assertive  communication  Undemanding, low in  Indulgent  Neglectful, ignoring,  control attempts  indifferent, uninvolved  • 6) Social Learning and Parenting Techniques (60s and 70s)  • Punishment vaiables (intensity and timing)  • Reasoning and cognitive restructuring  • Reinforcement  • Modeling  • Still very influential in behaviour therapy (parental training)  • Social Learning and the Bobo Doll: the children saw parents beat up the Bobo  doll and would mimic the actions that they would see   • 7) Attachment Research: 1960s Bowlby and Ainsworth  • Quality of attac
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