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Life Span Development

Developmental tasks Chapter 7

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

1. Developmental tasks: gender identification:

- Differentiation between concepts of sex, gender, and sexual orientation
* Sex: biologically linked features or distinctions
*Gender: integrated cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral schemes associates
with being male or female
* Sexual orientation: ones preference for and attraction to sexually intimate

2. Gender identification: theoretical views about origins of Gender Differences

- Model of Gender identification focuses on 4 components:
* Understanding the concept of gender
* learning gender role standards and stereotypes (boys are supposed to play with
toys for boys and vice versa. Most people still do that. Parents question for example
when boys play with dolls...what is expected of a gender role)
* Forming a gender preference
* Identifying with parents

see Page 222-223 (figure 7.1)

Gender identification: Learning gender role standards and stereotypes

- Gender role standards are cultural expectations about appropriate behavior
for boys and girls, and for men and women
- Children form gender schemes, or personal theories about cultural
expectations and stereotypes related to gender

Gender identification: Identification with parents

- Identification is the process through which one person incorporates the values and
beliefs or another
- Ideals, values and standards of the family and community are internalized

Gender identification: Gender preference

- Development of a personal preference for activities and attitudes associated
with masculine and feminine roles
- Gender typicality: children can assess whether they fit in with other of the
same sex (girls cant usually run as fast as boys, so during a game a girl will
prefer to play with girls)
- Contentedness: children like being the sex they are
Gender identification: Gender preference
- Gender preference depends on three factors:
1. The more closely ones strengths and competencies approximate gender-
role standards, the more one will prefer being a member of that sex
2. The more one likes the same-sex parent, the more one will prefer being a
member of that sex
3. Environmental cues as to the value of one sex or the other

Early Moral Development:

- Achievements in moral development include interrelated changes in:
1. Emotions
2. Knowledge
3. Action
- Early moral development involves a process of internalization-taking parental
standards and values on as ones own

Table 7.1 pages 241 (DO NOT NEED TO KNOW BY HEART!)

Early Moral Development: Empathy and Perspective Taking (cont.)

- Perspective taking: cognitive capacity to consider a situation from the point of
view of another person

Early Moral Development: Parental Discipline

- Four elements determine the impact of these techniques on the childs future
1. Discipline should help the child interrupt or inhibit the forbidden action
2. Discipline should point out a more acceptable form of behavior
3. Discipline should provide some reason why one action is inappropriate
and the other more desirable
4. Discipline should help the child empathize with the victim (p.245)

Self-Theory: (p.250)
- Gender identification and moral development are components of the childs
- Self concept links the childs understanding of the nature of the world, the
self, and the interactions between the two
- The function of self-theory is to make transactions between the self and the
world turn out as positively and beneficially as possible (when positive, self-
esteem goes up and vice versa)

Self-Theory: Developmental Changes in the Self-Theory

- Infancy: self consists of ones independent existence
- Toddlerhood: self-theory grows through active process of self-differentiation
- Early school age: self-theory becomes more differentiated
- Middle childhood: self-theory shifts to comparative assessments (comparing
yourself to others, you will try your best to do even better)

Self-Theory: Culture and Self-Theory

-Culture shapes the values places on certain attributes, as well as how children think
of the self

Self-Theory: Theory of the mind

- From ages 4-6, children become aware that people have different points of

Self-Theory: Self-Esteem: (p.253)

- Self esteem or self-evaluation is based on 3 sources:
1. Messages of love, support, and approval from others
2. Specific attributes and competencies
3. The way one regards these specific aspects of the self in comparison with
others and in relation to ones ideal self

Self-Theory: Self-esteem and the Early School-Age child: (p.254)

- There are periods of life when self-esteem is more vulnerable to fluctuation
- Early-school-age children may be especially vulnerable to fluctuations in
feelings of self-worth (they are not able to keep up with the rest for example)

Peer Play: Group Games (p.255) they start to play

- New form of play involves group games that are more structures and have
basis on reality vs. fantasy (example: girls play teachers, mom and dad etc)
- The involve more cognitive complexity, physical skill, and ritual, and allow
peer cooperation (example: playing memory game, according to rules)

Peer Play: Media Play

- Electronic media exposure is increasing in younger children (MUST ALWAYS
BE UNDER SUPERVISION!!! Maximum 1-2 hours a day)
- Includes television, computer, and video games
- Concerns with increased obesity levels and reduced social interactions
(when you watch TV. there is no response to others, reducing interaction
with others, not paying attention to what they are eating etc.)

Peer Play: Friendship Groups (p.257)

- Friendships are based on the exchange of concrete goods and the mutual
enjoyment of activities
- Conflicts among friends tend to occur because children tend to evaluate
situations on the basis of outcomes rather than intentions
- Young children tend to prefer same-sex friends
- Girls are dyadic (two-person) interactions over larger groups
- Boys seem to prefer to play in larger groups
- Group configurations provide different opportunities for intimacy (children
who move away often, have difficulty forming intimacy)

The Psychosocial Crisis: Initiative vs. Guilt

- Initiative: an expression of agency; children impose themselves and their
ideas and questions onto their social work (children take more initiative into
their learning process) (Developmental tasks: example Peer play)
- Guilt: an emotion that accompanies the sense that one has been responsible
for an unacceptable though (Example the developmental task Moral: you feel
that you did something wrong= guilt)

The developmental tasks (MUST KNOW!!!)

1. Gender identification
2. Early moral development
3. Self-theory
4. Peer play

The Central Process: Identification

- Identification is the central process in the resolution of the conflict between
initiative and guilt
- Four theories about the motives for identification (table 7.5)
- Identification with parents results in strengthen the childs personality
(parents are the most in the environment of the child, but after the child goes
to school, the roles start to change, they have more people in their

The 4 Motives for Parental Identification: Motive and definition (table 7.5
page 262)
1. Fear of loss of love = A child behaves like a parent in order to ensure a continued
positive love relationship
2. Identification with the aggressor = A child behaves like a parent in order to
protect himself or herself from the parents anger
3. Identification to satisfy needs for power = A child behaves like a parent in
order to achieve a vicarious sense of the power associated with the parent
4. Identification to increase perceived similarity = A child behaves like a parent
to increase a perceived similarity to the parent and thereby to share in the parents
positive attributes

The Prime Adaptive Ego Quality and the Core Pathology (p. 263)
- Purpose: thought or behavior with direction, and therefore with meaning
(positive resolution)
- Inhibition: the restraint or suppression of behavior (negative resolution)
(example: when parents are not around, not giving the love and support that
they are supposed to be giving)
Psychosocial crisis