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Chapter 11

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Chapter 11: The Family Understanding the Family  Socialization: to the process by which children acquire the beliefs, motives, values, and behaviours deemed significant and appropriate by older members of their society. The Family as a Social System  Family: two or more person related by birth, marriage, adoption or choice who have emotional ties and responsibilities to each other.  Social systems: networks of reciprocal relationships and alliances that are constantly evolving and are greatly affected by community and cultural influences. Direct and Indirect Influences  Traditional nuclear family: a family unit consisting of a wife/ mother, a husband/father, and their dependent child (ren).  Direct effect: instances in which any pair of family members affects and is affected by each other’s behavior.  Indirect, or third party, effect: instances in which the relationship between two individuals in a family is modified by the behavior or attitudes of a third family member.  Co-parenting: circumstance in which parents mutually support each other and function as a cooperative parenting team.  Extended family: a group of blood relatives from more than one nuclear family (for example, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews) who live together, forming a household. Families are Developing Systems  So the family is not only a system in which developmental change takes place; its dynamics also change with development of its members. Families are Embedded Systems  And yet economically distressed parents who have close ties to a “community”—a church group, a volunteer organization, or a circle of close friends and other confidants—experience far less stress and less disruption of their parenting routines Changing Family Systems in a Changing World  More single adults, postponed marriages, decreased childbearing, more women are employed, more divorce, more single-parent families, more children living in poverty, more remarriage, and more multigeneration families.  Single-parent family: a family system consisting of one parent and the parent’s dependent child (ren).  Blended (or reconstituted) families: new families resulting from cohabitation or remarriage that include a parent, one or more children, and step-relations. Parental Socialization During Childhood and Adolescence Two Major Dimensions of Parenting  Acceptance/responsiveness: a dimension of parenting that describes the amount of responsiveness and affection that a parent displays toward a child.  Demandingness/control: a dimension of parenting that describes how restrictive and demanding parents are. Four Patterns of Parenting Baumrind’s Early Research  Authoritarian parenting: a restrictive pattern of parenting in which adults set many rules for their children, expect strict obedience, and rely on power rather than reason to elicit compliance.  Authoritative parenting: flexible, democratic style of parenting in which warm, accepting parents provide guidance and control while allowing the child some say in deciding how best to meet challenges and obligations.  Permissive parenting: a pattern of parenting in which otherwise accepting adults make few demands of their children and rarely attempt to control their behavior.  Compared to teenagers raised by either permissive or authoritarian parents, those raised by authoritative parents were relatively confident, achievement oriented, and socially skilled, and they tended to stay clear of drug use and other problem behaviors. Uninvolved Parenting  Uninvolved parenting: an extremely lax and undemanding approach displayed by parents who have either rejected their children or are so overwhelmed with their own stresses and problems that they haven’t much time or energy to devote to child rearing. Explaining the Effectiveness of Authoritative Parenting  Autonomy support: parental attempts to foster individuality and self- determination by encouraging children to express their viewpoints, participate in family decisions that affect them, and to have some say in how they will comply with parental demands and directives. Behavioural Control versus Psychological Control  Behavioural control: regulating the child’s conduct through firm but reasonable discipline and monitoring of his or her activities.  Psychological control: attempts to influence a child’s or adolescent’s behaviour by such psychological means as ignoring, discounting, or belittling a child’s feelings, withholding affection, or inducing shame or guilt.  As early as the preschool period, parents who rely on firm behavioral control without often resorting to psychological guilt trips tend to have well-behaved children and adolescents who do not become involved in deviant peer activities and generally stay out of trouble; by contrast, heavy use of psychological control (or high levels of both behavioral and psychological control) is often associated with such poor developmental outcomes as anxiety and depression, poor academic performance, affiliation with deviant peers, and antisocial conduct. Parent Effects or Child Effects?  Parent effects model: model of family influence in which parents (particularly mothers) are believed to influence their children rather than vice versa.  Child effects model: model of family influence in which children are believed to influence their parents rather than vice versa.  Transactional model: model of family influence in which parent and child are believed to influence each other reciprocally. Social Class and Ethnic Variations in Child Rearing Social Class Differences in Child Rearing  It appears that lower-SES and working-class parents are somewhat more critical, more punitive, and more intolerant of disobedience than parents from the middle and upper socioeconomic strata. Explaining Social Class Differences in Child Rearing  Family distress model: Conger’s model of how economic distress affects family dynamics and developmental outcomes.  So even when economically disadvantaged children have good relationships with their custodial parents and receive adequate parenting, many remain at risk of displaying problem behaviors if their family lives are otherwise unstable. Homelessness  Our focus on economic disadvantage and maladaptive outcomes might seem to imply that children from affluent families should experience many developmental successes. Ethnic Variations in Child Rearing  Acculturation stress: anxiety or uneasiness that new residents may feel upon attempting to assimilate a new culture and its traditions.  No-nonsense parenting: a mixture of authoritative and authoritarian parenting styles that is associated with favorable outcomes in African- American families. The Quest for Autonomy: Renegotiating the Parent/Child Relationship during Adolescence  Autonomy: the capacity to make one’s own decisions and to manage life tasks without being overly dependent on other people.  Parents view conflicts through a moral or social-conventional lens, feeling that they have a responsibility to monitor and regulate their child’s conduct, whereas the adolescent, locked in his quest for autonomy, views his nagging parents as infringing on personal rights and choices. Encouraging Autonomy  Promotion of volitional functioning (PVF): method of autonomy support in which parents guide adolescents’ decision making by suggesting alternatives, tying them to adolescents’ values and goals, and permitting them to resolve issues for themselves. The Influence of Sibling and Sibling Relationships Changes in the Family Systems When a New Baby Arrives  Sibling rivalry: the spirit of competition, jealousy, and resentment that may arise between two or more siblings.  Parents are advised to continue to provide love and attention to their older children and to maintain their normal routines as much as possible. Sibling Relationships over the Course of Childhood  Siblings are much more likely to get along if their parents get along.  Brothers and sisters often do nice things for one another and resolve most minor disputes amicably, and these prosocial acts are typically much more common than hateful, rivalrous, or destructive conduct. Positive Contributions of Sibling Relationships  One important contribution that older siblings make is to provide caretaking services for younger brothers and sisters. Siblings as Providers of Emotional Support  As they mature, siblings may frequently protect and confide in each other, often more than they confide in parents, and may draw strength from the support a sibling provides. Siblings as Models and Teachers  (1) Older children feel a greater responsibility to teach if the younger pupil is a sibling; (2) they provide more detailed instructions and encouragement than older peers do; and (3) younger children are more
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