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Chapter Sections: 8.4, 7.1, 11.2- 11.4, 13.4

PSYCO223 Chapter Sections: 8.4, 7.1, 11.2- 11.4, 13.4: March 20- Family

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Dayuma Vargas Lascano

7.1- School-Age Children and Adolescents: Family Relationships Dimensions and Styles of Parenting - Parenting can be described in terms of general dimensions that are like personality traits because they denote stable aspects of parental behaviour that hold across situations - 2 general dimensions of parental behaviour emerge: o The degree of warmth and responsiveness that parents show their children o Involves control which comes in 2 forms: ▪ Psychological control- parents’ efforts to manipulate their children’s emotional states by, for example, withdrawing their love or making children feel guilty ▪ Behavioural control- parents’ efforts to set rules for their children and to impose limits on what children can and cannot do • Some parents are dictatorial – try to regulate every facet on their children’s lives • Some exert little or no control – these children do whatever they want without asking parents first or worrying about their parents’ response Parenting Styles - Authoritarian parenting- style of parenting in which parents show high levels of control and low levels of warmth towards their children o Often are unhappy, have low self-esteem, and frequently are overly aggressive - Authoritative parenting- style of parenting in which parents use a moderate amount of control and are warm and responsive to their children o Best for most children most of the time – tend to have better grades and are responsible, self-reliant, and friendly - Permissive parenting- style of parenting that offers warmth and caring but little control over children o Often are impulsive and have little self-control - Uninvolved parenting- style of parenting that provides neither warmth nor control and that minimizes the amount of time parents spend with the children o Often do poorly in school and are aggressive Variations Associated with Culture and Socioeconomic Status - Cultures worldwide share the goal of helping children become contributing members of their culture, but cultures differ in their views of the best amount of warmth and the best amount of control - In some cultures, individualism is less important than cooperation and collaboration - Cultural values help specify appropriate ways for parents to interact with their children - Parental styles also depend on socioeconomic status - Parents of lower SES tend to be more controlling and more punitive – characteristics associated with the authoritarian parenting style o Parents of higher SES are often more educated and consequently see development as a more complex process requiring the more nuanced and child-friendly approach that marks authoritative parenting Genetic Influences on Parenting - Families and parenting are adaptations that evolved to provide for children until they mature – therefore, genes linked to behaviours that make for effective parenting were more likely to be passed on because they helped children to reach maturity - Heredity makes it easier for some people to be warm, caring, supporting, and responsive parents and makes it easier for other people to be hostile, angry, and abusive parents - Also several environmental influences on parental style including the quality of the parents’ marital relationship and the children themselves Parental Behaviour - 3 specific parental behaviours that influence children: o Direct instruction- telling a child what to do, when, and why ▪ Help children master their social and emotional skills o Modeling ▪ Children learn a great deal from parents simply by watching them – observational learning leads to imitation, so children’s behaviour resembles the behaviour they observe o Feedback ▪ By giving feedback, parents indicate whether a behaviour is appropriate or not ▪ Comes in 2 general forms: • Reinforcement- any action that increases the likelihood of a behaviour • Punishment- any action that discourages the recurrence of the response it follows ▪ Negative reinforcement trap- unwittingly reinforcing a behaviour you want to discourage • Occurs in 3 steps: o Mother tells child to do something that they don’t want to do o Child responds with some behaviour that most parents find intolerable o Mother gives in, simply to get child to stop intolerable behaviour Influences of the Marital System - Indirect influences also important - Parental conflict affects children’s development through 3 distinct mechanisms: o Seeing parents fight jeopardizes a child’s feelings that the family is stable and secure, making a child feel anxious, frightened, and sad o Chronic conflict between parents often spills over into the parent-child relationship o When parents invest time and energy fighting with one another, they’re often too tired to invest themselves in high-quality parenting - When disagreements are handled constructively, children respond positively – strengthens their beliefs that the family is cohesive and able to withstand life’s problems - Other indirect influences are parents’ effectiveness as a parenting team and work-related stress Children’s Contributions: Reciprocal Influence - Not only do parents influence children, but children also help determine how their parents parent – by their behaviours, attitudes, and interests, children affect how their parents behave towards them - These reciprocal influences lead many families to adopt routine ways of interacting with one another – some families end up functioning smoothly, while others end up troubled and others disengaged Siblings - Most children grow up with brothers and sisters - Many older siblings enjoy helping their parents take care of a newborn - As the infant grows, interactions between siblings become more frequent and more complicated – some siblings grow close, other constantly argue/don’t get along o The basic pattern of sibling interaction seems to be established early in development and remains fairly stable o Siblings more often get along when they believe the parents have no “favorites” Impact of Birth Order - First-born children are often “guinea pigs” as parents have little practical experience rearing children - Parents typically have high expectations for their firstborn, and more realistic expectations for the later-born children - Only children likely to become selfish and egotistical, but also succeed in school and have higher levels of intelligence and self-esteem Divorce and Remarriage - Many children are distressed by their parents’ divorce because it involves conflict between parents, separation from one of them, and economic hardship - As adults, children of divorce are more likely to experience conflict in their own marriages, to have negative attitudes towards marriage to become depressed, and to become divorced themselves - Divorce is more harmful when it occurs during childhood and adolescence (rather than college or pre-school); children also more affected by divorce when they are temperamentally more emotional and when they are inclined to interpret events negatively - Children benefit from joint custody if their parents get along – But, many parents don’t get along, and traditionally, mothers are awarded custody o When this happens, children benefit when fathers remain involved in parenting Reducing the Harm of Divorce - Parents can reduce divorce-related stress and help children adjust to their new life circumstances - Children adjust to divorce best when they maintain good relationships with both parents Blended Families - Family consisting of a biological parent, a stepparent, and children - More than 2/3s of men and women eventually remarry - Parents sometimes favour their biological children over their stepchildren – leads to conflict/unhappiness Parent-Child Relationships Gone Awry: Child Maltreatment - Maltreatment involves physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and neglect - Prognosis for maltreated youngsters is not good – some suffer permanent physical damage; others have disrupted social and emotional development; cognitive development and academic performance are disturbed; school- related behaviour problems are common What Children Are at Risk for Maltreatment? - Most general category of contributing factors includes those dealing with cultural values and the social conditions in which parents rear their children - Countries that don’t condone physical punishment tend to have lower rates of child maltreatment than the US - Poverty is also linked to maltreatment, in part because lack of money increases the stress of daily life - Abuse is more common in military families when a soldier is deployed in a combat zone – here, maltreatment may be rooted in stress stemming from concern over the absent parent and temporary single parenthood - Social isolation also contributes – abuse is more likely when families are socially isolated from other relatives or neighbours - Maltreatment is more likely when the parents themselves were abused as children; also when parents use ineffective disciplinary techniques, and when parents’ interactions with each other ae often unpredictable, unsupportive, and unsatisfying for both husbands and wives - Children, through their own behaviour, may contribute to their abuse (reciprocal relationship) - Children who are frequently ill are more often abused - Stepchildren at greater risk for abuse 8.4- School-Age Children and Adolescents: Reasoning About Moral Issues Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Reasoning - 3 levels of moral reasoning: o Preconventional level- the 1 level in Kohlberg’s theory in which moral reasoning is based on external factors ▪ Obedience orientation- a characteristic of Kohlberg’s stage 1 in which moral reasoning is based on the belief that adults know what is right and wrong • Stage 1 individuals do what authority say is right to avoid being punished ▪ Instrumental orientation- a characteristic of Kohlberg’s stage 2 in which moral reasoning is based on the aim of looking out for one’s needs • Stage 2 individuals are nice to others because they expect the favour to be returned o Conventional level- the 2 level in Kohlberg’s theory in which moral reasoning is based on society’s norms ▪ Interpersonal norms- a characteristic of Kohlberg’s stage 3 in which moral reasoning is based on winning the approval of others ▪ Social system morality- a characteristic of Kohlberg’s stage 4 in which moral reasoning is based on maintaining order in society • Adolescents and adults believe that social roles, expectations, and laws exist to maintain order within society and to promote the good of all people o Postconventional level- the 3 level in Kohlberg’s theory in which moral reasoning is based on a personal moral code ▪ Social contract- a characteristic of Kohlberg’s stage 5 in which moral reasoning is based on the belief that laws are for the good of all members of society • Adults agree that members of social groups adhere to a social contract because a common set of expectations and laws benefits all group members • However, if these expectations and laws no longer promote the welfare of individuals, they become invalid ▪ Abstract principles (such as justice, compassion, and equality) form the basis of a personal code that may sometimes conflict with society’s expectations and laws Support for Kohlberg’s Theory - Longitudinal studies confirm that individuals progress through each stage in sequence, with virtually no individual skipping stages - Further support is a link between moral reasoning and moral behaviour – adolescents who defend their principles in difficult situations tend to be more advanced in Kohlberg’s stages - Some critics note that Kohlberg’s emphasis on individual rights and justice reflects traditional American culture and Judeo-Christian theology Beyond Kohlberg’s Theory - Some argue that Kohlberg’s emphasis on justice applies more to males than females, whose reasoning about moral issues is often rooted in concern for others - But, girls and boys, and men and women, reason about moral issues similarly – most people think about moral issues in terms of both justice and caring, depending on the nature of the moral dilemma and the context 11.2- Young and Middle Adulthood: Lifestyles Singlehood - About 80% of men and 70% of women between ages 20 and 24 are single with increasing numbers deciding to stay that way - Numerous stereotypes and biases against single people - Many men and women remain single as young adults to focus on establishing their careers rather than on marriage or love relationships, which most do later; others report that they simply didn’t meet “the right person” or prefer singlehood - The pressure to marry is especially strong for women - Men tend to remain single longer in young adulthood because they tend to marry at a later age than women do – though fewer men than women remain unmarried throughout adulthood mainly because men find partners more easily as they select from a larger range of unmarried women - Ethnic differences in singlehood reflect differences in age at marriage as well as social factors – globally, meanings and implications of remaining single are often tied to strongly held cultural and religious beliefs - Important distinction between adults who are temporarily single and those who choose to remain single - For most singles, the decision to marry is never a gradual one – this transition is represented by a change in self- attributed status that occurs over time and is associated with a cultural timetable for marriage Cohabitation - People in committed, intimate, sexual relationships who live together but aren’t married - Becoming increasingly popular - Most marriage begin as cohabiting relationships, and most young adults have cohabited or will cohabit at some time in their lives - Ethnic groups do not differ significantly in cohabitation rates - Couples cohabit to test their relationship is the context of potential marriage, for convenience, and as an alternative to marriage Gay and Lesbian Couples - Relationships are similar to those of heterosexual couples in terms of love, commitment, satisfaction, and trust - Most commonly in dual-earner relationships and are likely to share household chores - Gay and lesbian couples do differ from heterosexual couples in the degree to which both partners are similar on demographic characteristics such as race, age, and education – gay and lesbian couples tend to be more dissimilar - Gender differences play more of a role in determining relationship styles than do differences in sexual orientation – gay men, like heterosexual men, tend to separate love and sex and have more short-term relationships while both lesbian and heterosexual women are more likely to connect sexual intimacy in fewer, longer-lasting relationships - Report less support from family members than do either married or cohabiting couples – also related to family’s traditional ethnic or religious values - At a societal level, attitudes about gay and lesbian relationships are changing rapidly – becoming more and more accepted – major change in attitude means that couples now have the same rights as heterosexual married couples to decide whether to marry Marriage - Over time, people have been less in a hurry to get married - Median age at first marriage has been rising for several decades What is Successful marriage and What Predicts It? - Marital
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