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FSU DEP 3103 - Ch. 11

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Ch. 11• The Ecological Systems Perspective– Family is part of an interdependent system– Child affects family members and vice versa– Characteristics of systems:– Families• Tend to attain homeostasis • Have boundaries• Are adaptable• Use routines and rituals• Well-functioning compared to negatively functioning families• The Marital System– What are committed arrangements?• Civil unions and cohabitation by domestic partners– Partners interpersonal relationship has an important impact on their children• Emotions shown• Discipline and childrearing practices• Child attachment to parents• Psychological effects• Positive and negative– Mothers and fathers influence differently– Impact of parent’s style of handling conflict• Two pathways: • Direct- actual witnesses to arguments and fights• Indirect- marital difficulties cause parents to change their child rearing practices in unfamiliar ways– Boys tend to externalize problems– Girls tend to internalize problems– Boys more likely exposed to parental bickering and physical abuse than girls• Parents are more protective of their daughters– Impact of new baby:• Shift to traditional division of labor• Marital satisfaction declines• Declines more significantly in women than men after birth of first child • Declines more slowly in men• Child’s temperament• Temperamentally difficult or handicapped children often cause heightened family stress • Couples who were satisfied before child’s birth withstand the pressures well and show fewer disruptions than those who were already having problems • Parent-Child System– There is no magic childrearing formula– Parents try to adapt– Parents’ socialization of children• Conscious and systematic, begins at birth• Social roles reinforced through modeling • Parents knowingly use reinforcement techniques, observing occurs by chance• Promotes child’s social life and activities• Choose neighborhoods and home they grow up in, decorate their rooms, provide them with toys and books, and television • Social events, enrolling them in activities- sports, art, music, etc– Dimensions of Parental Behavior• Parenting patterns and styles utilize emotionality and control• Emotionality-• Warm & loving parent: child likely to want to maintain parent’s approval and to be distressed at any prospect of losing parent’s love• Physical punishment more effective• Cold & rejecting: threat of withdrawal of love is unlikely to be aneffective mechanism of socialization • Control-• Goal is to enable the child eventually to control her own behavior and to choose socially responsible alternatives • Involves mutual influence from both parents and children• Two kinds:• Behavioral- setting reasonable rules and parental use ofsuggestions, reasoning, and possible alternative coursesof action and monitoring child’s activities • when moderate children are more likely to cooperate• Psychological- the use of emotion-directed tactics such as guilt or shame induction, withdrawal of love or affection, or ignoring or discounting a child’s feelings• Use of this leads to lower self-esteem, higher anxiety, and possibly depression • Age affects child’s responses/reasoning • As they grow older, they resist being controlled and manipulated • Gradual shift to self-control by child• Self-reinforcement for appropriate social behavior becomes important • Spend more time out of home– Baumrind (1967) parenting styles based on observations and interviews of parents interacting with children at home/lab; longitudinal style – Parenting Styles• Authoritative • Warm, involved but not intrusive, responsive, set reasonable limits, enforce the rules fairly • Authoritarian • Harsh, unresponsive, rigid, use power assertive methods of control• Little warmth or positive involvement. • Shows anger and displeasure• Lead to irritable, moody, aggressive child• Permissive • Relaxed, inconsistent discipline, encourage children to express their impulses freely• Moderately warm, ignores bad behavior, don’t convey the rules, and child does not know what to expect of themselves or the parent • Uninvolved • Unresponsive, neglectful, more selfish and self-serving. • Parents focus on their own needs rather than their children’s – Challenges to the Parenting Styles Approach• Child’s temperament and behaviors• Giving more attention to how much child’s temperament and behavior influences the parents’ style• Physical and social neighborhood• Multiple studies found minority parents living in dangerous neighborhood who used authoritarian parenting style had better adjusted children than those who used an authoritative approach. • Families’ ethnic/cultural practices• Chinese parents score high on “authoritarian” scale• Chinese emphasis on human kindness, developing sensitive knowledge of others adhering to social rules of conduct and interaction.• US more on asking child’s opinions • Authoritarian styles were associated with higher self-esteem forMiddle Eastern but not Anglo children. – The Co-Parenting System• Gate-keeping form of co-parenting• Spouses work together as a team• High degree of family harmony with cooperative, warmth, and child centered• Competition between parents works against cohesion• Related to aggression in children• Gatekeeping• One parent limits or control’s the other parent’s level of participation• “Buy-in” for active involvement. • The Sibling System– Families affected by • Number and gender of children• Spacing between births• Sibling relationships and birth order• Firstborn: adult-oriented, helpful, self-controlled, studious, conscientious, and serious about academics, and professional achievement also more fearful, anxious, more guilt, more difficulty coping along– Advantages of “only child• Advantages of “only child” high achiever, less anxious, personal control, maturity, and leadership, and positive adjustments to social relations. – Birth order affects parent-child interactions• The Family as an Agent of Socialization: Family Stories and Rituals– Family unit: differing socialization contexts – Stories and rituals• Serves as a protective function• Positive impact of parents who preserve family rituals and attach meaning to their rituals: St. Patrick’s Day example. •


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