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Chapter 3

PS283 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Stepfamily

Course Code
Susan Alisat

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Contemporary Theories- Bronfenbrenner
Bio-ecological theory: social contexts in which students live, the people who
influence their development and their interactions; bridges the gap between
behavioral theories and anthropological theories
oMicrosystem: environmental system that includes a students families,
peers, schools and neighborhood’s (immediate/close proximities)
oMesosystem: environmental system that links microsystems; experiences
in one microsystem can affect the experience in another
oExosystem: experiences in another setting that influences what students
and teachers experience; Ex. School boards decisions can affect a student
or teachers whole life
oMacrosystem: involves the broader culture in which students and teachers
live; including values and customs; Ex. Growing up in poverty can effect a
students ability to learn
oChronosystem: socio-historical conditions of a student’s development;
Ex. What is passed down from previous generations can change how a
child acts or behaviors; events and transitions over a life course
Erikson’s Life-Span Development Theory
8 stages and within each one humans are given a developmental task that
confronts them with a crisis; the more successfully a student goes through these
crisis’ the better and healthier their development will be
oTrust vs. Mistrust: first year of life and requires warmth and nurturing;
ideal outcome is comfort and minimal fear; worst outcome is a child is
neglected or treated badly causing them to fear getting close to people
oAutonomy vs. shame and doubt: second/preschool years; after passing
the first stage of trust they come to a point where they try to act on their
own; if they are encouraged they will develop autonomy, but if they are
punished too much they will develop shame and doubt
oInitiative vs. guilt: ages 3-5; children are expected to become a bit more
responsible and take responsibility of their bodies and belongings;
children develop guilt if they are anxious and irresponsible
oIndustry vs. inferiority: 6- puberty; direct their energy into knowledge
and skills; at this age children tend to explore; if they are not given the
ability to explore and expand their knowledge and act unproductive they
will develop inferiority
oIdentity vs. identity confusion: 10-20 years; major crisis about
discovering who you are and what your purpose is; need to be able to
explore themselves and the possibilities around them; if they do not
explore or are restrained they develop identity confusion
oIntimacy vs. isolation: 20s-30s; need to form close and healthy
relationships with others; finding a soul mate; if an intimate relationship
cannot be formed a feeling of loneliness will develop along with isolation
oGenerativity vs. stagnation: 40s-50s; passing on to the next generation;
parenting and teaching; if you are not able to pass on to your children or

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grand children you feel as if you’re stuck and have not had the ability to
pass on all the information you’ve gained
oIntegrity vs. despair: 60s+; at this point in your life you will go on to
reflect on what you have done and accomplished if you can say that you
are satisfied you will develop integrity and if you cannot you will feel
despair and depression
Identity is important to understand students our age; Some people believe that
intimacy comes before identity
Social Contexts of Development
oParents can either nature or nurture their children or treat them harshly and
ignore them
oStep family, never-divorced
oParents work full time meaning children spend their time in after school
programs; mothers are present at home after school
oEthnically uniform neighborhood vs. mixed
oPoverty vs. economically advantaged
Parenting styles- control and acceptance; authoritative is the best parenting;
oIndulgent- highly involved in a child’s life, but they do not set limits or
restrictions on behaviour; do not learn control
oNeglectful- no limits and no involvement in a child’s life; poor self
control, cannot handle independence, are not motivated
oAuthoritative- involvement and restrictions/limits in a childs life;
encourages the child to be independent; self reliant and delay gratification;
high esteem
oAuthoritarian- restrictive and punish children for almost everything;
anxious, poor communication skills; behave in a socially incompetent
The changing family in a changing society
o5th highest percentage of simple parent families in Canada
o2.1 million children living with single parent
oStudents from single parent and low income families are at risk for social
and educational difficulties in childhood
oStudents in low income families live in risky neighborhoods
oChildren of Divorce: 38 percent; adjustment difficulties; many
differences depending on certain situations; also many ways to handle the
situation for children such as support systems; important for parents or at
least one parent to be authoritative during divorce
oEthnic and Socio-economic variations in families: ethnic groups differ
in size, structure, composition, kinship, level of income and education
Low income parents put importance on external characteristics:
obedience and neatness; likely to use punishment and criticize
children; education is the sole responsibility of schools and
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