Chapter 8: Social and Personality Development in Early Childhood
I. Theories of Social and Personality Development
B. Social-Cognitive Perspectives
1. Define the viewpoint held by Social-Cognitive Theories.
Assumes that social and emotional changes in the child are the result of, or at least are facilitated by,
the enormous growth in cognitive abilities that happens during the preschool years
i. Person Perception
2. (a) Define person perception.
the ability to classify others according to categories such as age, gender and race
(b) Why are preschoolers’ observations and categorizations of people inconsistent?
they tend to base them on their most recent interactions with those individuals
(c) Define the cross-race effect and age when it is established.
Individuals are more likely to remember the faces of people of their own race than those people of
a different race; which is established by age 5.
ii. Understanding Rule Categories
3. (a) What is the difference between social conventions and moral rules?
social conventions have nothing to do with our fundamental sense of right or wrong
Eg. forgetting to say thanks, wrong placement of forks
moral rules are more serious violations with little tolerance
Eg stealing toys, breaking laws
(b) When do children appear to understand this difference?
between ages 2 and 3
iii. Understanding Others’ Intentions
4. What influences preschoolers’ judgments of others’ intent according to the research
findings by Nelson (1980)? See third paragraph.
when faced with abstract problems and when personally motivated by a desire to avoid
punishment. However, the children’s judgments were also influenced by outcomes.
II. Family Relationships and Structure
5. (a) Compare attachment at 12 months and at 2-3 years of age.
12 months: a baby has normally established a clear attachment to at least one caregiver.
2/3: the attachment is just as strong, buy many attachment behaviours have become less visible
(b) How does attachment change when preschoolers are approximately 4 years old?
they understand that the relationship continues to exist even when the mother is away. The child’s
internal model of attachment appears to generalize to all the child’s social relationships
(c) Preschoolers’ compliance is context-dependent. Identify two contexts or situations that
are associated with high compliance and two contexts or situations that are associated with
High: safety request (don’t touch, its hot!), prohibitions about care of objects (don’t ruin they
Low: instructions about self-care (please wash your hand now), requests to delay (I can’t talk
right now, I’m on the phone)
B. Parenting Styles
vi. Parenting and Child Discipline Note: The definition of discipline will be discussed in the lecture templates.
6. (a) Identify the two key problems that make it difficult to establish what constitutes effective
1. It is difficult to establish the harmful or beneficial effects of various forms of discipline (is
physical punishment better or nonphysical punishment?)
2. Research has not concluded how intense and frequent effective discipline needs to be. (What’s
the line between mild, moderate and severe discipline?)
(b)What do Canadian child-care advocates suggest in terms of the most appropriate child
discipline methods? (See top of p. 216)
physical interventions are not appropriate. Instead, they suggest the use of minimal nonphysical
interventions in the context of a loving family relationship, and they encourage parents to be
proactive by improving parenting skills and anticipating and limiting situations that will require
(c) Define inductive discipline.
a discipline strategy in which parents explain to children why a punished behavior is wrong
(d) Identify the research findings related to the effectiveness of inductive discipline.
It is not equally effective for all children. Children with difficult temperate or with physically
active, risk taking natures seem to have a greater need for firm discipline and benefit less from
Research Report: “Disciplining Children: The Canadian Perspective” (p. 215)
Note: Paragraphs one, two, and three of this “Research Report” is covered in the lecture
7. Read the final/fourth paragraph in this “Research Report”. According to Joan Durrant
(2004), Canada’s law on permitted spanking of children leaves many questions unanswered.
Identify what remains unanswered, according to Durrant.
How is a parent to distinguish between physical punishment and physical abuse?
What is an acceptable degree of and circumstance for physical discipline?
Is it okay to spank with an open hand so long as it leaves no bruises?
C. Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, and Parenting Styles
8. (a) Identify the research findings on Asian American parenting.
Display authoritarian style and children with higher test scores
(b) Identify the research findings on Aboriginal child-rearing practices in Canada.
Permissive style parenting but no association with negative outcomes
D. Family Structure - (optional reading – not on the exams)
9. Summarize all four paragraphs in this section (pp. 221 to 222 and Figure 8.6).
III. Peer Relationships
A. Relating to Peers through Play
10. (a) See the fifth paragraph in this section. If a child is able to gain acceptance by a group of
children then this child has developed the social skill of group entry. Compare a successful
and unsuccessful child in terms of group entry skills.
Children who are skilled in group entry spend their time observing others to find out what they’re
doing and then try to become a part of it. Children with poor skills try to gain acceptance through
aggressive behavior or by interrupting the group and are often rejected.
(b) See the final paragraph in this section. How did Doctoroff (1997) help 4-5 year-old children develop group entry skills (tw