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12: Middle Childhood - Social Emotional Development
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- 12.1: Social Emotional Theories of Development
- Erik Erikson proposed that we are motivated by a need to achieve competence in certain areas of our lives. As we’ve learned in previous chapters, Erikson’s psychosocial theory has eight stages of development over the lifespan, from infancy through late adulthood. At each stage, there is a conflict, or task, that we need to resolve. Successful completion of each developmental task results in a sense of competence and a healthy personality.
- 12.2: Self-Understanding
- Children in middle childhood have a more realistic sense of self than do those in early childhood. That exaggerated sense of self as “biggest” or “smartest” or “tallest” gives way to an understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses. This can be attributed to greater experience in comparing one’s own performance with that of others and to greater cognitive flexibility.
- 12.3: Motivation as Self-Efficacy
- In addition to being influenced by their goals, interests, and attributions, students’ motives are affected by specific beliefs about the student’s personal capacities. In self-efficacy theory the beliefs become a primary, explicit explanation for motivation (Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997).
- 12.4: Gender Identity
- The development of gender and gender identity is likewise an interaction among social, biological, and representational influences (Ruble, Martin, & Berenbaum, 2006). Young children learn about gender from parents, peers, and others in society, and develop their own conceptions of the attributes associated with maleness or femaleness (called gender schemas).
- 12.5: Child and the Family
- The reason we turn out much like our parents, for better or worse, is that our families are such an important part of our socialization process. When we are born, our primary caregivers are almost always one or both of our parents. For several years we have more contact with them than with any other adults.
- 12.6: Friendships, Peers, and Peer groups
- Parent-child relationships are not the only significant relationships in a child’s life. Friendships take on new importance as judges of one’s worth, competence, and attractiveness. Friendships provide the opportunity for learning social skills such as how to communicate with others and how to negotiate differences.
- 12.7: Peer Relationships
- Most children want to be liked and accepted by their friends. Some popular children are nice and have good social skills. These popular-prosocial children tend to do well in school and are cooperative and friendly. Popular-antisocial children may gain popularity by acting tough or spreading rumors about others (Cillessen & Mayeux, 2004).
- 12.8: Aggression, Antisocial Behavior, Bullies, and Victims
- Aggression may be physical or verbal/emotional. Aggression is activated in large part by the amygdala and regulated by the prefrontal cortex.
- 12.S: Summary