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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1020
Robyn Pitman

CH 7. PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS • The major goal of parenting (in North America) is the child’s achievement of self- sufficiency and independence from the parents • Not a historical goal  most agrarian societies have viewed children as an economic resource to supply agricultural labour or home production of goods • Industrial revolution  children could be employed in industry to the benefit of the parents • Until mid-1800’s viewed child as economic asset • Children shifted from economic asset to economic liability because 1. Passage of child protection legislation in industrialized countries to curb exploitation of children 2. Since industrialism required skills such as counting and record keeping, children needed to be in school to master skills • Schooling made children more expensive  during agrarianism children paid for themselves through their labour, now children need to be provided with food, shelter, transportation, school supplies, expensive brand-name clothing and cellphones • Parents in developing countries still expect their children to stay with family and take care of them when their old • Expectation of taking care of elderly vanished when countries develop old age security • Semi-agrarian countries do not view children’s independence from the parents as a goal of parenting but adult child should repay the family with economic and service contributions • Western sees goal of parenting as successful rearing of children into adulthood • In N.A. success means adult is economically independent • Economic independence viewed as social and academic achievement • Today’s parents want their children to be independent and have developed social and academic skills Models of Parent-Child Effects • Early Socratic dialogues, 2 positions: 1. Learning depends on experience (empiricism) – children are blank slate (John Locke’s tabula rasa) 2. Every human carries pre-existing forms of knowledge (rationalism) • Parent-to-child unidirectional model the parent transfers knowledge and skills to the child CH 7. PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS • Child-to-parent unidirectional model the child conditions (rewards and punishes) the parent to produce the behaviour he or she desires. The more modest version states that parenting responds to the temperament and desires of the child • Bidirectional parent-child model a theoretical approach that recognizes that parents both affect and are simultaneously affected by their children. The same holds true for children  Exchange theory  Parent-child interaction is dynamic over time A Note on Parent-Child Levels of Analysis • Examine the individual parent or individual child regarding attitudes, beliefs and actions • Examine dyad (mother-son, mother-daughter, father-son, father-daughter) of relationship properties (same/cross gender, conflict, agreement, closeness, consensus) • Examine family group for coalitions, factions, democracy • Isolated children Anna and Isabelle demonstrates that being isolated individual development does not take place • Genie demonstrates the without nurturance and socialization there is little in us that can be recognized as human • Brofenbrenner asserts smallest unit of analysis is dyad and not individual  if biological human nature contains no inherent behaviour that emerges independently then individuals depend on socialization Nature-Nurture Debate • Genetic contributions  born with personality traits • In human development usually both genetic components (DNA & RNA) are dependent on the environment for protein • Ex. Genetic material may determine high intelligence but if insufficient protein (malnourished) that potential will not be realized • Nurture = blank slate • Nature = biological determinants • Formulas: 1. Child outcome = nature + nurture  Ex. Intelligence = genes + family background 2. Child outcome = nature + nurture + (interaction of nature and nurture)  Ex. Intelligence = genes + family background + (genes X family background) CH 7. PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS • Toilet training  child needs to be exposed to appropriate socialization and have control of sphincter  Interaction effect (nature X nurture) between biologically determined maturation and socialization THEORIES OF SOCIALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT • Ontogenetic development development in which the progression is set by specific- specific genes. All humans (in a normal range) progress through the same stages of development at about the same ages  Maturational, age-graded physical developments that child experiences • Sociogenetic development the view that maturation and development are affected mainly by cultural learning and socialization within social groups as opposed to being inherent to the species in the form of a necessary timetable  Age-grading process is constant and different outcomes is from experiences • George Herbert Mead focused on learning of social roles and games rather than ontogenesis • Child developmental experiences are culturally organized by the values of culture rather than age grading Psychoanalytic Theories • Unit of analysis is individual • Freud – psychosexual development  Invariant development stages marked by certain development adjustments  If not completed successfully will affect future development  Development was driven by libido or sexual urges  Stages: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital  Production of mania or hysteria • Erikson  extended development stages into adulthood  Stages represent deep conflicts that need to be resolved to move onto next stage  Stages: trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs doubt, initiative vs guilt, industry vs inferiority, identity vs role confusion, intimacy vs isolation, generativity vs stagnation, and integrity vs despair  Progression through invariant stages where completion at one stage is contingent on completion of previous stages Psychological Theories CH 7. PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS • Individual’s mental processes • Ontogenetic • Piaget  theory of a child’s cognitive and perceptual development relied on invariant stages that had to be experienced and learned before the next stage could be experienced Piaget’s Stage of Development Age Stage Properties of Stage Range 0-2 Sensorimotor Differentiation of object from background and object permanence 2-7 Preoperational Vocal and written language and nominal grouping 7-11 Concrete operational Conservation of matter and ordinal series 11 + Formal operational Formal symbolic logic: manipulation of symbols • Critics of Piaget:  Piaget believed lockstep sequence, but some elements at one stage may be experienced at another time (Mozart writing music at age 3)  Ignores cultural variation • Kohlberg  moral development 6 stages  Moral development is lifelong process Sociological Theories • Focus on parent-child dyad, the family group, and larger social units • Determinants of development are social (nurture) • Socialization: social nature of development • G.H. Mead  outcome of development as the ability to take on and perform social roles in society For a child to be competent at performing social roles in society, they must navigate 2 stages: 1. Play stage child learns that social roles are constructed by norms and sanctions by playing mommy or doctor. If a child beats its doll an adult might say that is not way to treat your baby 2. Game stage child learns the various social roles are meaningfully structured by social rules to contrast a game. By playing a game a child learns to take on various CH 7. PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS social roles an execute them based on the rules of the game. The child also learns that they may take on different roles (such as seeker then later hider). Critical in learning the way in which roles and norms function in human societies • Brofenbrenner  ecological theoretical model of development  Childs ontogenetic development always occurs in social context. Humans begin their
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