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Child Dev Chapter 13

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Louisiana State University
PSYC 2076

Chapter 13Social and Personality Development in Middle ChildhoodIThe Developing SelfAPsychosocial Development in Middle Childhood Industry Versus Inferiority1According to Erik Erikson middle childhood encompasses the industryversusinferiority stage the period from ages 6 to 12 characterized by a focus on efforts to attain competence in meeting the challenges presented by parents peers school and the other complexities of the modern worldBUnderstanding Ones Self A New Response to Who Am I1The Shift in SelfUnderstanding From the Physical to the PsychologicalaDuring middle childhood children begin to view themselves less in terms of external physical attributes and more in terms of psychological traitsWhereas before they may have described themselves in terms of height and physical abilities now they are focusing more on psychological differences between themselves and othersThis is because they are more capable of abstract thinking than younger childrenso their descriptions of the self become more abstract 1Children realize they are good at some things and not so good at othersTheir selfconcepts tend to fall into 4 main categoriesaAcademic selfconcepttheir abilities in different subjectsbSocial selfconcepthow they relate to their peers and other significant people in their livescEmotional selfconceptthe different emotional states they experience and their control over those statesdPhysical selfconcepttheir personal appearance and physical abilities2Social ComparisonaChildren use social comparison comparing themselves to the abilities expertise and opinions of othersWhen we are trying to measure our abilities in some area we tend to compare ourselves to others who are similarIf I want to know if Im good at yoga Im not going to compare myself to the instructorIm going to use other students to make those comparisons1There are 2 kinds of social comparisonsaUpward social comparisonscomparing ourselves to someone better than we are on a particular skillI might compare myself to one of the better students to give myself something to reach forbDownward Social ComparisonsSometimes children make downward social comparisons with others who are obviously less competent or successful to raise or protect their selfesteemIm not a particularly graceful person so I might compare myself to someone whos just starting so I can feel better about myself CSelfEsteem Developing a Positiveor NegativeView of Oneself1Children in these years are developing selfesteemjudgments about themselves as being good or bad overall and in particular arenasWhereas selfconcepts are more dispassionate factbased evaluations selfesteem tends to be more emotionbasedObviously our different evaluations of the self can affect our overall sense of selfesteem however not all evaluations are considered equally importantFor exampleI have the grace of a deranged rhinoHowever I dont really put a lot of emphasis on physical ability so that negative selfconcept doesnt really affect my overall sense of selfesteem2Change and Stability in SelfEsteemaSelfesteem develops in important ways during middle childhoodbChildren increasingly compare themselves to otherscChildren are developing their own standardsdSelfesteem becomes differentiatedEarlier in childhood our sense of selfesteem is fairly globalIf we feel good about ourselves we tend to think were good in all different areasThe same is true for if we feel bad about ourselvesBut in middle childhood we start to differentiate our different selfconcepts and rate ourselves in different areaseFor most children selfesteem increases during middle childhoodWe tend to see a drop in selfesteem around age 12They are leaving the relative safety of elementary school and entering middlejunior high schoolsClasses are becoming more difficult and they are usually introduced to more different types of kidssocial situations become more difficult fOnes selfesteem good or bad can become part of a selffulfilling prophecy 1Children with low selfesteem may become enmeshed in a cycle of failure that is difficult to breakIf I think Im stupid I dont try as hard in classIf I dont try I dont do wellIf I dont do well it validates my feeling that Im stupid2Kids w high selfesteem are more likely to keep trying when they experience adversityBecause they keep trying they are more likely to succeed which validates their higher sense of selfesteem
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