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Chapter 5

PSYC 335 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Social Capital, Emergency Social Services, Prenatal Care


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 335
Professor
Dean A Tripp
Chapter
5

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PSYC 335:
POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
CHAPTER #5:
LIVING WELL AT EVERY STAGE OF LIFE
-Claim that psycs neglect the positive side of human functioning
-Branch of developmental psyc approaches research w questions about what is working
rather than what isn’t working
-The efforts of developmental psycs produced findings that transcended boundaries to focus
on ppls self-correcting tendencies
-The developmental researcher’s about what works across the lifespan:
Childhood → birth-age 11
Youth → 12- 25
Adulthood → 26-59
Older Adulthood → 60-death
-
Maturational &
Biological
Psycho-
analytic
Behavioural
Cognitive
Developmental
Basic
assumptions of
the theory
The sequence
& content of
development
are determined
mostly by
biological
factors & the
evolutionary
history of the
species
Humans are
conflicted
beings &
individual diffs &
normal growth
result from the
resolution of
those conflicts
Development is
a function of the
laws of learning
& the
environment
has an imp
influence on
growth &
development
Development is the
result of the
individual’s active
participation in the
developmental
process in
interaction w imp.
Environmental
influences
Philosophical
rationale for the
theory
1. recapitulation
theory
2.preformationis
m
3.predeterminis
m
embryological
Tabula rasa
“blank slate”
prefeterminist
imp variables
most often
studied?
Growth of
biological
systems
Effects of
instincts on
needs & the
way instincts
are satisfied
Frequency of
behaviours
Stage-related
transformations &
qualitative changes
from one stage to
another
Areas the
theory had its
greatest
Child rearing,
imp. Of
biological
determinants,
aspects of
cultural &
Personality
development &
the relationship
bw culture &
behaviour
Systematic
analysis &
treatment of
behavioral &
educational
applications
Understanding how
thinking & cognition
develop in light of
cultural conditions &
demands
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historical
development
-Resilience researchers: identify the “naturally occurring” personal & environmental
resources that help children & adolescents to overcomes life’s many challenges
Positive Youth Developmentalists: put the findings of resilience researchers & other pos
psycs into action & design & conduct programs that help youth capitalize on their personal
assets & environmental resources
Resilience in Childhood
-1970s → group of developmental psycs began to study children who succeeded in life
despite severe challenges, referring to them as “resilient”
The case of Jackson
-Sexually abused at 8yrs
-Learned to protect himself from the predator
-Effects of abuse significant → low trust, anxious, withdrawn, stomach aches & headaches
lead to school absence & poor academic performance
-2 teachers reached out bc they knew he was struggling
-wasn't able to talk about the abuse for 20 yrs but got the support he needed from his
teachers
-came to school early & sat at teacher's desk each morning
-provided a safe place to sit & heal, allowing him to let go of his fears & interact more
comfortable w adults & recovered
What is Resilience
Resilience: Patterns of positive adaptation in the context of significant adversity or risk
2 judgments must be rendered to diagnose resilience:
1. A judgment that individuals are doing ok w respect to a set of expectations for
behaviour
2. There must be significant exposure to risk or adversity that has posed a serious
threat to good outcomes
Requires that investigators define:
a) The criteria or method for identifying positive adaptation or development
b) The past or current presence of conditions that threatened to disrupt positive
adaptation or harm development
-Debate regarding the universality of protective factors & extent to which children are doing
‘ok’ according to the criteria of good adaptation
Long list of protective factors identified but differs in extent to which these factors
protect (yield pos outcomes) & variability in how & when ppl call upon particular
resources when facing risks & disadvantages
Researchers can suggest what might work but cant describe a formula for the
operation of resilience
Researchers disagree on the answer to the Q, “bounced back to what?” when
determining a resilient child’s level of post-threat functioning.
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Users are looking for → a return to normal functioning (attainment of developmental
milestones) & evidence for excellence (functioning above that expected of a child at a
similar age, altho most researcher set the bar at a normal range)
“Bounced back to what?” must be answered w/i context of the values of the culture &
expectations of the community for its youth
Cultural forces dictate whether researchers examine positive educational outcomes,
health w/i fam functioning, or psyc well-being
Unexamined personal bias may cause researchers to not ask the types of questions
that help obtain an accurate pic of some groups esp when racial & ethnic
backgrounds have been historically pathologized
unconscious/conscious stereotypes about certain groups lead us away from asking
qs that allow for members of traditionally marginalized groups to show their true
strengths
Positive feelings about the self, one’s culture, & one’s ethnic group may promote
resiliency & be linked to pos behaviours
Encouraging children to develop positive connections w cultural communities may
increase resiliency toward negative factors in life including reactions to
discrimination, racism, & prejudice
Resilience researchers agree that external adaptation (meeting the social,
educational, cultural & occupational expectations of society) is necessary to
determine who is resilient
Don't agree on whether a determination of internal adaptation (pos psycs well
being) is necessary as well
Caused conduction bc some ppl see bouncing back as an inexorably linked to
emotional & intrapsychic adaptation
The Roots of Resilience Research
-Some researchers:
Approach their work by focusing on the building blocks of risk due to a stressor
Others:
Identify subsamples of larger groups of ppl who are functioning well or thriving
despite having experienced a recent stressor & then study the resilient ppl i depth to
determine what similarities they share w eachother & w members of less resilient
groups & to identify what distinguished them from the ppl who fail to bounce back
-Emmy Werner → the mother of resiliency
Person-focused resilience researcher. Identified resilient ppl & then got to know them
well over time. Produced informative resilience researcher
Study involving cohort of 700 children born on the Hawaiian island of Kauai
Psyc data collected from birth for children & adult caregivers who worked at
sugarcane plantations
At birth ⅓ of children were considered high risk for academic & social probs
bc of their deficits in fam support & home environments (poverty, parent
alcoholism, domestic violence, etc)
Of the at risk students, ⅓ were invulnerable to the determining risk factors & 2
primary characteristics accounted for the resilience of these children
1. Born w outgoing dispositions
2. Able to engage several sources of support (better care during infancy,
intelligence, & perceptions of self-worth
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