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Chapter 12

PSYC 251 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Moodle, Mothers Talk, Noncustodial Parent


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 251
Professor
Stanka A Fitneva
Chapter
12

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The Family
Family Dynamics
Family Dynamics: The way in which the family operates as a whole
Families are complex social units whose members are all interdependent and
reciprocaly influence one another
Family functioning is also influenced by the social support that parents receive
from kin, friends, neighbours and social institutions
Shifts in family dynamic as children begin to grow, can be gradual or continuous
Biological characteristics (temperament of both children and parents, parental
behaviours) also contribute to the nature of family interactions and the dynamic
The Role of Parental Socialization
Socialization: Process through which children acquire the values, standards, skills
and knowledge that are regarded as appropriate for their present/future roles in
their particular culture
Parent’s contribute to child’s socialization by:
- Parents as Direct Instructors: Directly teach skills, rules and strategies and
explicitly inform them/advise them on various issues
- Parents as Indirect Socializers: Indirect socialization through their own
behaviours with/around children, unintentional demonstration of skills and
communication of information
- Parents as Social Managers: Manage their children’s experiences and social
lives, exposure to various people/activities
Parenting Styles and Practices
Parenting Styles: Parenting behaviours and attitudes that set the emotional climate
in regard to parent-child interactions, such as parental responsiveness and
demandingness, some parents may be rule setters, while others allow for more
leeway
Researchers have identified 2 dimensions to parenting style:
- Degree of parental warmth, support and acceptance
- Degree of parenting control and demandingness
The two dimensions have allowed for 4 different parenting styles: authoritative,
authoritarian, permissive and rejecting-neglecting
Authoritative Parenting: Parenting style that is high in demandingness and
supportive, set clear standards and limits for children, firm about enforcing rules,
allow children autonomy within the rules, attentive and responsive and respect
their children’s perspective
Authoritative parents want children to be socially responsible, assertive and self-
controlled
Found that children of authoritative parents are well liked, high in social and
academic competence, self-reliant, low in drug use and problem behaviour
Authoritarian Parenting: High in demandingness, low in responsiveness,
nonresponsive to children’s needs and enforce demands through parental power,

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threats and punishment, oriented toward obedience and authority and expect
children to comply with their demands without question or explanation
Children of authoritarian parents tend to be low in social and academic
competence, unhappy, unfriendly, low in self-confidence
Parents normally control their children by setting and enforcing limits, but another
type of control is psychological control
Psychological Control: Control that constrains, invalidates and manipulates
children’s psychological and emotional experience and expression
Ex: Cutting children off when they want to express themselves, threatening to
withdraw love and attention if they do not behave as expected, exploiting the
child’s sense of guilt…etc.
Use of psychological control on kids predicts children’s depression in childhood
and externalizing problems such as aggression and delinquency
Sometimes psychological control is not a causal factor in children’s problem
behaviours and is enforced to stop the behaviour
Permissive Parenting: High in responsiveness, low in demandingness, responsive
to children’s needs and do not require children to regulate themselves or act in
appropriate or mature ways
Children of permissive parents tend to be impulsive, lack self control, low school
achievement and prone to externalizing problems
Rejecting-Neglecting Parenting: Disengaged parenting style, low in both
responsiveness and demandingness, do not set limits or monitor their children, are
not supportive of children, tend to be focussed on their needs rather than their
children’s needs
Children of rejecting neglecting parents tend to have disturbed attachment
relationships, problems with relationships when they’re older, antisocial
behaviour, low academic competence and internalizing problems
Parenting styles establish an emotional climate, this climate affects the impact of
whatever specific parenting practices may be employed (children of authoritative
parents are more likely to view punishment as justified)
Parenting style also affects children’s receptiveness to parents practices, children
will listen to their parents if they are supportive and reasonable, and not so much
if they are distant or neglectful
Children’s behaviour often shapes the parenting style as well
Ethnic and Cultural Influences on Parenting
Sociocutural differences
African American children, especially those from low-income families benefit
from restrictive and highly controlling parenting (intrusiveness, unilateral
decision making)
Parental use of physical discipline is associated with problem behaviour in
European American youths, while this punishment is associated with low levels
for African American youth

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African American parents may feel the need to use authoritarian parenting to
protect children from dangers found in crime ridden neighbourhoods while
African American youth may recognize the protective motive of their parents
For chinese parents, authoritarian parenting is the norm, believe that children owe
unquestioning obedience to parents, parents will scold and shame them
This style of parenting seems to have few negative effects on Chinese children,
for Chinese children, physical punishment is related to negative outcomes
High levels of parental warmth and control found in African American, Hispanic,
Italian, Kenyan, Sweden, Thai families while European American families were
characterized by high warmth and low control
The Child as an Influence on Parenting
Individual differences
Attractiveness
Mother’s of very attractive infants are more affectionate and playful with them
This pattern continues throughout childhood
Children’s Behaviours and Temperaments
While attractiveness is a passive contribution on behalf of parents, behaviours are
an example of active child
Children that are disobedient, angry or challenging make it more difficult of
parents to use authoritative parenting than children who are compliant and
positive
Some children may be more reactive to the quality of parenting they receive than
others (differential susceptibility)
Bidrectionality of Parent-Child Interactions: The idea that parents and their
children are mutually affected by one another’s characteristics and behaviours,
self-reinforcing and escalating negative pattern
Ex: When parents are hostile and inconsistent in enforcing standards of conduct,
the children are in turn hostile and inflexible with them
Socioeconomic Influences on Parenting
Parents with low SES are more likely to use authoritarian and punitive child
rearing styles
High SES parents are more likely to use styles that is more authoritative,
accepting and democratic
High SES mothers talk more to their children and follow up more directly on wha
their children say, fosters better communication between parent and child and
promotes the child’s verbal skills
Some of the differences in parenting styles and practices due to SES are related to
parental beliefs and values
- High SES more likely to view themselves as teachers rather than providers and
disciplinarians
Level of education (important aspect of SES) may also play a role in the
differences in parenting, highly educated parents have more knowledge about
parenting and tend to hold a more complex view of development than parents
with less education
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