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Social Behavior and Personality in...
Chapter Review

After reading this chapter, students should understand that:

  • In the United States, instrumental traits are typically associated with males as they describe individuals who act on the world while expressive traits are typically associated with females as they describe individuals who value interpersonal relationships
  • Preschoolers tend to have rigid views of gender and therefore fail to understand that gender stereotypes do not always apply; gender stereotypes can lead to inferences about behavior and personality that may not be true
  • Children acquire the gender stereotypes of their culture from their parents, peers, and television
  • Kohlberg’s theory of gender identity explains that children learn that gender is constant over time after they are able to understand the elements of labels, stability, and consistency
  • According to gender-schema theory, gender appropriate learning takes place when children decide if an object, activity, or behavior is female or male and they then use this information to decide whether or not they should learn more about the object, activity, or behavior
  • Biological explanations of gender differences explain that how expressive or instrumental a child is depends on heredity and that androgen levels influence the development of masculine traits
  • Erikson explains that preschool-aged children begin to realize that their initiative may place them in conflict with others so they must achieve a balance between their sense of initiative and their willingness to cooperate with others; by achieving a sense of purpose, children acquire a sense of self-esteem
  • Harter and Pike (1984) study self-esteem using pictures of children failing or succeeding in certain domains and activities and then asking them which picture is more like them; their findings about self-esteem in preschoolers explain that self-esteem in preschoolers is generally high
  • The systems approach explains that the family consists of interacting elements that influence each other and that the family itself is embedded in multiple contexts that also influence the dynamics of the family and the individual child
  • The two dimensions most commonly associated with parental behavior are: 1) warmth and responsiveness, and 2) control
  • The optimal balance of parenting along these two dimensions is an adequate amount of control while allowing some freedom
  • There are cultural differences in levels of warmth and control: European American parents tend to display warmth and moderate control while Chinese parents tend to display parental control more than parents in the United States and are less likely to display affection
  • The four prototypic parenting styles proposed by Baumrind are:
    • Authoritarian: high control, little warmth
    • Authoritative: fair degree of control, warm and responsive
    • Indulgent-permissive: warmth and caring with little control
    • Indifferent-uninvolved: neither warmth or control
  • There are differences in children of parents with specific parenting styles:
    • Authoritative parenting leads to children who are responsible, self-reliant, and friendly
    • Authoritarian parenting leads to children who have a lower self-esteem and are less skilled socially
    • Indulgent-permissive parenting leads to children who are often impulsive and easily frustrated
    • Indifferent-uninvolved parenting leads to children who have a low self-esteem and are impulsive, aggressive and moody
  • Parents can influence their children through direct instruction, learning by observing, and feedback
  • Time out allows for the caregiver to reason with the child regarding the behavior and the punishment
  • Children and parents have a reciprocal influence on family functioning—parenting behaviors and styles evolve as a consequence of a child’s behavior
  • The five common styles of grandparenting are:
    • Formal grandparents: strong interest in grandchildren but with a hands-off attitude toward child rearing
    • Fun-seeking grandparents: primary source of fun for their grandchildren but avoid more serious interactions
    • Distant grandparents: have little contact with grandchildren
    • Dispensing-family-wisdom grandparents: provide information and advice to parents and child alike
    • Surrogate parent grandparents: assume normal roles and responsibilities of parent
  • Firstborns tend to receive lots of enthusiasm from their parents; parents are more affectionate and more punitive with firstborns; firstborns tend to have higher scores on intelligence tests and are more likely to go to college, are more willing to conform to requests of adults
  • Parents of laterborn children have more realistic expectations of them and are more relaxed in their disciplining of them; laterborns are more popular with their peers and more innovative
  • Only children are more likely to succeed in school and have higher levels of intelligence, leadership, autonomy, and maturity
  • Common factors that contribute to the quality of the sibling relationship are sex of the siblings, temperament, age, and parental involvement
  • Preschooler’s interaction with peers allows them to participate in cooperative play, experience with aggressive emotions and behaviors and be involved in prosocial play
  • Make believe play promotes cognitive development and lets preschoolers experience the activities and topics that frighten them
  • Solitary play is worrisome when the play consists of wandering aimlessly
  • Parents can become involved in the play of preschoolers by taking on the role of a playmate, negotiator, or coach
  • Self-control is one of the first steps toward the development of moral behavior because they learn that they must restrain themselves and their immediate wishes
  • From infancy to the preschool years, self-control develops from becoming aware that people impose demands on them that they must meet to becoming capable of self-regulation
  • Adult self-control influences the development of self-control in preschoolers—children have greater self-control when their parents show self-control and are not overly strict
  • Controlling parents do not give their children the opportunity or incentive to internalize control
  • Fearful children can be helped to develop a sense of self-control when parents use gentle discipline; fearless children can be helped to develop a sense of self-control when parents appeal to their attachment relationship by asking the children to cooperate
  • Preschoolers can effectively influence their levels of self-control by reminding themselves to resist temptation and by diverting their attention from the sought after event
  • Moral thinking of preschoolers is revealed when they are able to distinguish moral rules from social conventions, when they are able to distinguish lies from mistakes, and when they are able to show guilt for misdeeds



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