SUSS PSY 207 STUDY UNIT 1 ( CHAPTER 15: The Family ( Parenting style (…
SUSS PSY 207 STUDY UNIT 1
CHAPTER 1: Introduction to the Human Life
How Should we think about development?
Human development in context
Conceptualising Life Span
Prenatal period Conception to birth
Infancy First 2 years of life (the first month is the neonatal or newborn period)
Preschool period 2–5 (some prefer to describe as toddlers children who have begun to walk and are age 1–3)
Middle childhood 6 to about 10 (or until the onset of puberty)
Adolescence Approximately 10–18 (or from puberty to when the individual becomes relatively independent)
Emerging adulthood 18–25 or even 29 (transitional period between adolescence and adulthood)
Early adulthood 25–40 years (adult roles are established)
Middle adulthood 40–65 years
Late adulthood 65 years and older (some break out subcategories such as the young-old, old-old, and very old based on differences in functioning)
– A socially, culturally defined age croup/category with assigned status, roles, privileges.
I.e. Arusha people of East Africa devised six socially meaningful age grades for males: youths, junior warriors, senior warriors, junior elders, senior elders, and retired elders.
Rite of passage
is a ritual that marks a person’s transition from
one status or age grade to another to another.
- Actions and conduct that are expected of a person based on their respective age grades.
i.e. It is against the age norm for 6year olds to drive a car.
—a person’s sense of when things should be done and when he or she is ahead of or behind the schedule dictated by age norms.
i.e. Prompted by the social clock, for example, an unmarried 30-year-old may feel that he should propose to his girlfriend before she gives up on him
Developmental changes are the products of a complex interplay between nature and nurture.
For example, biology (nature) provides us with the beginnings of a brain that allows us to learn from our experiences (nurture), experiences that in turn change our brains by altering neural connections
Emphasize change in response to the environment as being a strong influencer on development.
View human development in terms of:
Focuses on the influences of biological and genetic makeup on development.
Views human development in terms of:
Innate or biologically based predispositions
Development can be defined as
that occurs continually in an individual between conception and death.
, patterned, and relatively enduring—not fleeting and unpredictable like mood swings
Focuses on changes and continuities in perception, language, learning, memory, problem solving, and other mental processes.
Focuses on changes and carryover in personal and interpersonal aspects of development, such as motives, emotions, personality traits, interpersonal skills and relationships, and societal roles.
Concerns with the physiological growth of the body including the brain, physical signs of aging, changes in motor abilities.
Science of Life-Span Development
Having describe the various factors in development, developmentalists seek to
identify factors that predict development
A first step is often finding a relationship between possible influences on development and thereafter, examining such relationship
After describing the factors, predicting the relationship between factors, developmantalis will
explain the nature of such relationship (i.e. causal relationship?)
To achieve the goal of description, developmentalists
characterise the functioning and changes
of humans of different ages.
They describe both normal development and individual differences, or variations, in development. No two people (even identical twins) develop along precisely the same pathways.
The fourth goal of developmental science is optimization of
Pursuing the goal of optimizing development might involve evaluating ways to stimulate intellectual growth in preschool programs, to prevent binge drinking among college students, or to support elderly adults after the death of a spouse
Two Perspectives on Development
Modern Life-span Perspective
7 key assumptions
2. Development is multi-directional.
Initially, development was a was seen as a process leading toward more “mature” functioning.
Today’s developmentalists recognize that
different capacities show different patterns of change over time.
For example, some intellectual abilities peak in adolescence while others do not peak until a person’s 40s or 50s; Different aspects of human functioning have different trajectories of change.
3. Development involves both gain and loss.
Building on the theme that development is multidirectional and that it is not all gain in childhood and loss in old age, Baltes maintained that both
gain and loss are evident in each phase of the life span
. Moreover, he believed that gain inevitably brings with it loss of some kind, and loss brings gain—
that gain and loss occur jointly
Examples? As infants become more able to discriminate the sounds of the language they hear spoken around them, they lose their ability to discriminate sounds used in other languages of the world.
1. Development is a lifelong process.
Today’s developmentalists appreciate that humans change throughout the lifespan. They also believe that
in any period of life is
best seen in the context of the whole lifespan.
For instance, our understanding of adolescent career choices is bound to be richer if we examine with how those choices took shape during childhood and whether and how they affect adult career development and success.
4. Development is characterised by lifelong plasticity.
Plasticity refers to the capacity to change in response to experience, whether positive or negative. i.e. child development can be damaged by a deprived environment and optimised by an enriched one.
It is now understood that this plasticity continues into later life—that the ageing process is not fixed but rather can take many forms depending on the individual’s environment and experiences.
For example, older adults can maintain or regain some of their intellectual abilities through physical exercise, a mentally and socially active lifestyle, or training designed to improve specific cognitive skills. Such cognitive benefits are rooted in neuroplasticity, the brain’s remarkable ability to change in response to experience throughout the lifespan
5. Development is shaped by its historical-cultural context.
This theme was illustrated by Glen Elder and his colleagues. They researched how the Great Depression of the 1930s affected the later life courses and development of the era’s children and adolescents
This work gives us insights into the many effects of the economic crisis like the Great Recession that began in 2008 (see Chapter 15). A few years after the stock market crashed in 1929, one of three workers was unemployed and many families were tossed into poverty. Although many families survived the Great Depression nicely, this economic crisis proved to be especially difficult for children if their for a look at how adolescent development is being changed by today’s innovations in digital media and communication technologies.
7. Development must be studied by multiple disciplines.
of human development will come only when
, each with its own perspectives and tools of study, join forces. Not only psychologists but also biologists, neuroscientists, historians, economists, sociologists, anthropologists, and many others have something to contribute to our understanding.
6. Development is multi-influenced.
Today’s developmental scientists believe that human
development is the product of nature and nurture
, of many interacting causes both inside and outside the person, and both
biological and environmental
Model of Development
Consists of linkages amongst social settings which do not contain, but can still influence an individual.
e.g. parents’ job demands can affect the decisions they make about their children
The larger cultural context the individual is in,
e.g. societal values, norms and way of life, political undertones
Consists of connections between microsystems.
e.g. family conflicts can have a negative impact on school experiences.
refers to changes in the person and the environment that unfold over the person’s life
e.g. the impact of events between certain systems may affect the trajectory of development.
The immediate physical and social environments in which the individual interacts face-to-face with others
e.g. family, school, work
In Bronfenbrenner’s view, the developing person is influenced by
a series of environmental systems
with one another and with the individual over time to
How Is Development Studied?
The scientific method
involves generating ideas and testing them by making observations. Often, preliminary observations provide ideas for a theory—a set of concepts and propositions
Theory is a set of concepts and propositions A good theory should be
. Its different parts and propositions should hang together and should not generate contradictory hypotheses.
. It can be proved wrong; that is, it can generate specific hypotheses that can be tested and either supported or not supported by the data collected. If a theory is vague or does not generate clear hypotheses, it cannot be tested and will not be useful in advancing knowledge.
Supported by data
. A good theory should help us better describe, predict, and explain human development; that is, its hypotheses should be confirmed by research results.
strengths and weaknesses
Case study method
strengths and weaknesses
CHAPTER 2: Theories of Human Development
Key Developmental Issues
active or passive
participants in each of their own
incremental or in
Is development shaped by
nature or nurture?
innately good or bad?
This theory emphasises the role of nature over nurture in development.
According to the Freud, people are
driven by instincts
(innate biological forces that motivate behaviour)
and unconscious motivation
(inner forces that influence our behaviour without our awareness).
shaped by their earliest experiences
in life and these experiences shape their personality
Personality consist of:
Present at birth
Impulsive, irrational part which seeks to satisfy the instinctive nature
Develops during the infancy stage
The rational part which seeks realistic ways to satisfy instincts
Ego defence mechanism
An unconscious coping devices adopted by the ego to defend itself against anxiety that arise as a result of psychic conflicts between id and super ego
An individual’s internalised moral standards
Develops around 3-6 years (Phallic stage) when children internalise the parents' morals.
Freud's 5 Psycho-sexual stages
The psychic energy of the sex instinct (libido) shifts from one part of the body
to another during these stages
- Occurs when part of the libido remains tied to an earlier stage of development. Disrupts development.
(birth to 1 year)
Libido is focused on the mouth as a source of pleasure.
Obtaining oral gratification from a mother figure is critical to later development.
(1 to 3 years)
Libido is focused on the anus, and toilet training creates conflicts between the child’s biological urges and the society’s demands.
(3 to 6 years)
Libido centres on the genitals. Resolution of the Oedipus or the Electra complex results in identification with the same-sex parent and development of the superego
(6 to 12 years)
Libido is quiet; psychic energy is invested in schoolwork and play with same-sex friends.
(12 years and older)
Puberty awakens the sexual instincts as youths seek to establish mature sexual relationships and pursue the biological goal of reproduction.
Pays less emphasis on sexual urges and unconscious motivations and more on the rational ego and its adaptive powers.
Held a more positive view of human nature seeing people as active in their development, largely rational,
Views nature and nurture are equally important.
Placed more emphasis on development after adolescence.
Asserts that individuals experience eight major conflicts or challenges in their lives.
Suggests that the resolution of each conflict influences subsequent stages.
Erikson’s 8 Psycho-social Stages
Trust vs. mistrust
(birth to 1 year)
Infants must learn to trust their caregivers to meet their needs. Responsive parenting is critical.
Autonomy vs. shame & doubt
(1 to 3 years)
Children must learn to be autonomous–to assert their wills and do things for themselves–or they will doubt their abilities.
Initiative vs. guilt
(3 to 6 years)
Preschoolers develop initiative by devising and carrying out bold plans, but they must learn not to impinge on the rights of others.
Industry vs. inferiority
(6 to 12 years)
Children must master important social and academic skills and keep up with their peers; otherwise, they will feel inferior.
Identity vs. role confusion
(12 to 20 years)
Adolescents ask who they are and must establish social and vocational identities; otherwise they will remain confused about the roles they should play as adults.
Intimacy vs. isolation
(20 to 40 years)
Young adults seek to form a shared identity with another person, but may fear intimacy and experience loneliness and isolation.
Generativity vs. stagnation
(40 to 65 years)
Middle-aged adults must feel that they are producing something that will outlive them, either as parents or as workers; otherwise, they will become stagnant and self-centered.
Integrity vs. despair
(65 years to older)
Older adults must come to view their lives as meaningful to face death without worries and regrets.
Strength and Weakness of psychoanalytic theory
Provide insights to the
underlying human behaviour
early childhood experience
emotions and emotional conflicts
in development and the inner workings of personality
Vague and difficult to test.
Describes development but does not explain how it occurs.
According to the learning theory perspective, it is not the case that children advance through a series of distinct stages guided by biological maturation.
development occurs through the process of learning
. For them, development is a
of behavioural change that is
and can differ enormously from person to person
Rejects, Psychoanalytic focus on unseen cognitive and emotional processes;
focuses on observable behaviour.
Social Cognitive Theory
Previous learning theories were deterministic – Bandura emphasises
y (i.e. People have free will; they think and make choices)
Bandura's perspective on development -
Reciprocal Determinism: Human development occurs through continuous reciprocal interaction between:
The individual's behaviour(s)
The individual's environment(s)
is the learning that occurs through observing and mimicking the behaviour of other people (called models)
, a tendency to imitate every detail of what they see a model do, even actions that are useless in achieving a goal
Vicarious reinforcement/ punishment
, a process in which learners become more or less likely to perform a behaviour based on whether consequences experienced by the model they observe are reinforcing or punishing.
e.g. You are more likely to imitate someone who
is rewarded for their behavior than someone who is punished.
A form of behavioural learning in which the consequences of behaviour, such as rewards and punishments, influence the probability that the behaviour will occur again.
- Strengthens behaviour
, strengthens the behaviour adding a pleasant stimulus
strengthens the behaviour withdrawing an unpleasant stimulus
- Weakens behaviour
, weakens the behaviour adding an unpleasant stimulus
, weakens the behaviour by withdrawing a pleasant stimulus
A form of behavioural learning in which a previously
neutral stimulus elicits
produced by another stimulus.
Works better for the acquisition of involuntary responses (Fear).
Contributes to developmental psychology by showing that some developments could simply be due to learning (nurture, not nature).
Strength and weakness of learning theories
Operates across the life span and can be used to understand behaviour at any age.
Do not account for all normal changes across the lifespan; they only show that learning might have resulted in developmental changes.
Too little emphasis on biological influences on development – genes do affect learning experiences, e.g. the fear of snakes is more common than fear of cars.
Piaget's Stage Theory
An explanation of development that emphasizes distinctive or rather abrupt changes. A stage theory of cognitive development, then,
emphasizes revolutionary changes in thought processes.
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
2. Preoperational Stage
The second stage in Piaget’s theory, marked by well-developed mental
representation and the use of language.
In Piaget’s theory, the inability to realize that there are other viewpoints/ perspective beside one’s own.
Three mountain test. If we ask a child to draw a mountain range from the front view, they would probably be able to do it, but if you ask them to draw from a side view of top view etc, they will find it extremely challenging.
A preoperational mode of thought in which inanimate objects are imagined to have life and mental processes.
A preoperational thought pattern involving the inability to take into account more than one factor at a time.
The inability, in the preoperational child, to think through a series of events or mental operations and then mentally reverse the steps.
3. Concrete Operational Stage
Children have mastered conservation and develop the ability to perform mental operations with images of concrete, tangible objects but may not be capable of abstract thought.
The understanding that the physical properties of an object or substance do not change when appearances change but nothing is added or taken away
Solving a problem by manipulating images in one’s mind.This allows concrete operational children to think things through before taking action. As a result, they may be less impulsive.
However, their ability to develope abstract thoughts/ reasoning are still limited.
1. Sensorimotor Stage
The first stage in Piaget’s theory, during which the child
on innate motor responses to stimuli.
Birth – 2 years
Through sensorimotor intelligence, babies work towards object permanence or the knowledge that objects exist independently of one’s own actions or awareness. Usally starts at 9 months.
For example, if you show an infant a toy and then let her see you hide it under a blanket, she will look for it under the blanket.
The ability to form internal images of objects and events.
The emergence of object permanence, combined with an infant’s increasing experiments with goal-directed behavior, provide substantial evidence that infants are beginning to form mental representations of objects and to recognize their own relation to the world.
Consists of 6 sub-stages
1. Reflex activity
Active exercise and refinement of inborn reflexes
(e.g., change sucking patterns to fit the shapes of different objects).
2. Primary circular reactions
Repetition of interesting acts centred on the child’s own body. These typically begin as random acts but are then repeated.
(e.g., repeatedly suck a thumb, kick legs, or blow bubbles).
3. Secondary circular reactions
Repetition of interesting acts on objects (e.g., repeatedly shake a rattle to make an interesting noise or bat a mobile to make it wiggle). Thus, circular actions extend beyond one’s self (primary) to objects in the environment (secondary to self).
4. Coordination of secondary schemes
Combination of actions to solve simple problems or achieve goals (e.g., push aside a barrier to grasp an object, using the scheme as a means to an end); first evidence of intentionality.
5. Tertiary circular reactions
Experimentation to find new ways to solve problems or produce interesting outcomes (e.g., explore bathwater by gently patting it, then hitting it vigorously and watching the results; or stroke, pinch, squeeze, and pat a cat to see how it responds to varied actions).
6. The beginning of thought
First evidence of insight; able to solve problems mentally and use symbols to stand for objects and actions; visualize how a stick could be used (e.g., move an out-of-reach toy closer)
4. Formal Operational Stage
Develop ability for abstract reasoning and hypothetical thought.
Piaget insisted that children are not born with innate ideas (Psychoanalytic). Nor did he think children are simply filled with information by adults (learning theories).
Piaget’s position was that
children actively construct their own understandings of the world
based on their interactions with it (a.k.a Constructivism).
In Piaget’s theory, a mental structure or program that guides a developing child’s thought.
They are also the building blocks of development.
children systematically combine
existing schemes into new and more complex one
The process of adjusting to the demands of the environment
driven by cognitive conflicts
experienced when encountering something new and unknown
Occurs through two dynamic processes known as:
A mental process that
modifies or restructures
schemas in order to include (or accommodate) new information.(Changing how you do things or group information)
For example, when a child encounters a bat, she will have to create a new schema for “bat,” since it is a creature with wings but is not a bird.
A mental process that
incorporates new information
into existing schemas (Expanding the range of things you respond to).
For example, a child experiences assimilation when she learns that a parrot is a type of bird.
Strength and Weakness.
: Claims are testable and falsifiable (I.e. is the child facing a problem with conservation). Claims are also widely supported with other research.
: There are no explicit theoretical explanation on how a child transition from one stage to another.
Disagreeing with Piaget’s notion of universal stages of cognitive development, Vygotsky maintained that cognitive
development is shaped by the sociocultural context
in which it occurs and grows out of children’s interactions with members of their culture.
The information-processing approach to cognitive development examines the fundamental mental processes, such as attention, memory, decision making, and the like, involved in performing cognitive tasks.
From Vygotsky’s perspective,
development involves changes in the capacity and speed of the information-processing
(i.e. our brain), strategies used to process information, and in the information stored in memory.
SYSTEMS THEORY/ contextual
Changes over the lifespan arise from
ongoing interactions between a changing individual and a changing world,
e.g. Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model
Emphasise the interaction between nature and nurture, but do not provide a coherent theory of development.
Gottlieb’s epigenetic psychobiological systems perspective
Considers the interaction of nature and nurture at individual and species levels.
Genes, neural activity, behaviour and environmental factors influence one another
Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model
In Bronfenbrenner’s view, the developing person is influenced by
a series of environmental systems
with one another and with the individual over time to
CHAPTER 15: The Family
Family systems theory
Conceptualise the family as a system consisting of interrelated parts, each of which affects contributes to the functioning of the whole
The family is a system within other systems; it does not exist as a system in isolation.
The family changes over time and it is affected by changes in other systems.
- Or 'immediate' family comprises of Mother father and children.
– the way the two parents coordinate their parenting, and function as a team in relating to their children.
Larger families or
may have following subsystems:
Characterized by demands for conformity and obedience, with little tolerance for discussion of rules, which the parent enforces with punishment or threats of punishment.
Characterized by setting few rules and allowing children to make their own decisions.
While they may be caring and communicative, permissive parents give most decision-making responsibility to their children.
Characterized by high expectations of the children, which the parent enforces with consequences rather than punitive actions.
Authoritative parents combine high standards with warmth and respect for the child’s views.
Characterized by indifference or rejection, some- times to the point of neglect or abus
The Family as a Changing System
Since the 1950s, several dramatic social changes have altered the family experience Including:
More single adults
More postponed marriages
More unmarried parents
More working mothers
More single-parent families
More years without children
More multigenerational families
Fewer caregivers for aging adults
Mothers, Fathers, and Infants:
The System at Work
Mothers and fathers typically
differ in the quantity and the style of parenting
partly due to biology
and possibly evolutionary influences. E.g. Only mothers can nurse their young, and are certain that their children are theirs.
– typically, mothers are caregivers and fathers are playmates; but this does not mean that parents are “stuck” in these roles; e.g. fathers can adopt a “mother-like” caregiver role if needed.
Parents can also have
on their children through the quality of their marital relationship;
e.g. mothers who have a close, supportive relationship with their husband tend to interact more sensitively and patiently with their infants
Three Study Models
Child Effects Model
More recently, the
influence of children on their parents
has been highlighted, e.g. the age of a child and his/her competence affects the style of parenting.
Infants require and elicit sensitive care.
Older toddlers require instructions and limits to be set
Parents and children are seen as influencing one another reciprocally
Parent Effects Model
Traditionally, the relationship between parents and children was studied in terms of
influence going from parents to the child only