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Tuesday, 13 November 2012 16:18

Notes: Psychosocial- Play Years

Written by David Sheppard
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Play Years= Social Emotional Development


n  Emotional Development

n  “Overall, emotional development is the foundation that enables all the other forms of development.…” 285 in textbook)

n  Initiative Versus Guilt

n  Erik Erikson’s third stage (3-6 yrs)

¨  A child wants to complete things successfully, and feels guilt at failure.

¨  Example: A child tries to pour juice into a cup and spills. 

n  Some guilt is desirable.

n  Pride

n  Young children generally have a very positive self-concept and self-esteem.

n  They overestimate their abilities.

¨  Example: Every preschooler believes he/she is the brightest, smartest, fastest, most liked, best at games, etc.

n  So proud!

n  Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation comes from within the individual; it is the joy of personal accomplishment.

n  Adults can encourage this by not promising rewards for a task that is already enjoyable; instead, praise a job well done.

n  Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation is learning to cope with and direct one’s emotions.

n  It develops as a result of brain maturation and experiences.

n  The development of emotional regulation is influenced by:

¨  Genes

¨  Early experiences (especially stressors)

¨  Culture

¨  Ongoing care

¨  Brain maturation

¨  Gender

¨  Attachment

n  Externalizing and Internalizing Problems

Externalizing problems occur when a child turns emotional distress outward (e.g., attacking others in anger).

Internalizing problems occur when a child turns emotional distress inward (e.g., becoming anxious or withdrawn).

n  Emotional Intelligence

n  Emotional Intelligence involves learning how to interpret and express emotions.

n  As the prefrontal cortex develops, children’s ability to regulate emotions improves.

Caregivers also play a role in teaching emotional intelligence. 

n  Empathy and Antipathy

Empathy: a true understanding of the feelings and concerns of another

¨  This results in prosocial behavior (e.g., helpful, kind) and is helped by theory of mind.

¨  Antipathy: a dislike or hatred of people

¨  Results in antisocial behavior (e.g., aggressive).

n  Brotherly Love

Make it Real: Empathy

In what ways can caregivers help children learn empathy? Think of specific ideas.

n  Preference and Prejudice

n  Young children are able to show pride in their own “group” while avoiding prejudice of others.

n  The Importance of Play

n  It is natural and beneficial for young children to PLAY!

¨  Jean Piaget said “Play is the work of the child.”

¨  Children LEARN through play (and also relieve stress).

n  Types of Play

Solitary = play alone

¨  Onlooker = watch others

¨  Parallel = play with similar toys in similar ways, but don’t interact

¨  Associative = interact and share emotions, but not in same game (e.g., outdoor play)

n  Types of Play (cont.)

Cooperative = play together, with common goal, taking turns (e.g., Checkers)

¨  Rough and tumble = mimics aggression, but is in fun (“play face”)

¨  It usually requires social experience among participants, and enough physical space to play.

Quiz: How do you know this isn’t an aggressive encounter?

n  Importance of Play: Part II

n  It is imperative that society continues to value the importance of all types of play among young children.

n  Intellectual development is certainly important in early childhood, but so is ample time for free, unstructured play!

n  Types of Play (cont.)

Sociodramatic Play = Pretend play in which children act out self-created roles and themes

¨  Examples: Playing house, doctor, superheroes, or school

¨  Think: why might children enjoy this type of play? What benefits might there be?

Sociodramatic play helps children:

¨  Explore and rehearse socialroles they  have observed (e.g., playing the “Dad”)

¨  Regulate emotions through imagination (e.g., the powerful feeling of being a superhero)

¨  Learn to negotiate and cooperate with others

Quiz: What type of play is this?

Make it Real: Coping with Anger

What can caregivers do to help children cope with anger, and lessen the amount of aggression children display?

n  Aggression

n  All children experience the emotion of anger, but aggression involves hostile attitudes and hurtful, destructive behavior towards others.

n  Some types of aggression are more troublesome and long-lasting than others (see next slide).

n  Types of Aggression

Instrumental: Used to obtain an object such as a toy

¨  This is common among young children, and becomes less prevalent with age.

Reactive: Retaliation for an act, whether or not it was intentional

¨  This indicates a lack of emotional regulation.

n  Types of Aggression (cont.)

Relational: Insults or social rejection intended to hurt another

¨  Example: “You can’t come to my party.”

Bullying: Unprovoked, repeated attack to inflict physical or mental harm

Make it Real: Parenting

In your opinion, how influential is a parent to a child’s development?


n  Parenting Styles

n  Diana Baumrind found that parents differ on four dimensions of parenting:

¨  Expressions of warmth

¨  Strategies for discipline

¨  Quality of communication

¨  Expectations for maturity

n  Authoritative Style

High Warmth

¨  High level of communication

¨  Moderate expectations for maturity

¨  Discipline strategies involve much discussion, firm but fair limits

n  Authoritarian Style

Little Warmth

¨  Communication is one way (commands of parent)

¨  Very high expectations for maturity

¨  Strict, often physical discipline strategies

n  Permissive Style

High warmth

¨  High amount of communication

¨  Few to no expectations

¨  Little to no discipline

n  Parenting Styles: Quick Review

Suppose a teenager came in late for curfew…

How would each of Baumrind’s 3 main parenting styles handle the situation?

n  Outcomes of Parenting Styles

n  Which parenting style would you guess is associated with the following outcomes?

n  Children are obedient, not happy

n  Children lack self-control, are not happy

n  Children are successful, articulate, intelligent, and happy

n  Outcomes of Parenting Styles

Authoritarian: Children are obedient, not especially happy

Permissive: Children lack self-control, are the least happy

Authoritative: Children are successful, articulate, intelligent, and happy

Make it Real: Discipline

Anyone working with young children needs to have a set of tools in mind for discipline.

What discipline strategies have you heard about or used?

n  Discipline Strategies

n  No one strategy is a “cure-all.”

n  Techniques are often rooted in culture (e.g., time-out is popular in the U.S.).

n  All strategies should consider a child’s emerging self-concept and level of cognitive development.

n  The Challenge of Media

Question: The Challenge of Media

Take a guess:

How much time a day do you think the average child under 8 years old spends watching TV or playing video games or computer?

n  The Challenge of Media (cont.)

n  Most U.S. children spend over 3 hours a day using media.

n  By age 3, over 25% of children have a TV in their bedroom.

n  75% of low-income and 83% of higher-income children have cable TV.

n  Techno Homes–The Typical Child’s Home Contains:

n  The Challenge of Media (cont.)

n  Several U.S. organizations have issued statements imploring parents to reduce children’s exposure to violent media.

n  Longitudinal studies have established a link between TV violence in childhood and grades in high school.

n  The Challenge of Media (cont.)

n  Overuse of the media takes away time for imaginative and social play, and reduces time for parent-child interaction.

Question: Boy or Girl─So What?

Are males really from Mars, and females from Venus?

If yes, what makes males and females think, act, and feel differently?

If no, are gender differences simply exaggerated?

n  Boy or Girl: So What?

Sex differences = biological differences between males and females

Gender differences = culturally imposed differences in the roles and behaviors of males and females

n  Developmental Progression of Gender Awareness

n  By age 2 cognitive awareness of gender; gender-related preferences and play patterns are apparent

n  By age 3 rudimentary awareness that gender distinctions are lifelong

n  By age 4 awareness of “gender-appropriate” toys and roles

n  By age 6 well-formed ideas and prejudices about own and other sex

n  Theories of Gender Differences

Psychoanalytic Theory (Freud)

¨  Phallic stage = third stage of psychosexual development

¨  Identification = defense mechanism that lets a person symbolically take on behaviors and attitudes of someone more powerful than himself or herself

¨  Superego = personality part that is self-critical and judgmental

Oedipus (boys), Electra (girls) complexes of phallic stage

¨  Child develops sexual feelings toward opposite-sex parent, wants to replace same-sex parent

¨  Child cannot replace same-sex parent, so wants to be like that parent

¨  Guilt and fear are resolved by gender-appropriate behavior

¨  No longer a popular theory–often same-sex parent not present

n  Behaviorist Theory of Gender

n  Gender roles are learned through observationand imitation.

¨  Examples: Who takes out the garbage? Who writes thank you notes? etc.

n  Gender schemas organize the world into “male” and “female” activities.

n  This is guided by an internal motivation to conform to sociocultural standards of gender.

¨  Example: “Is this a (boy/girl) thing to do?”

n  Children learn the preferred behavior for men and women in their society.

Androgyny = a healthy balance of male and female psychological characteristics

¨  Is considered a psychologically healthy way to be, and will most fully occur if society supports it

n  Gender typed behavior is shaped by BOTHgenetic differences between male and female brains, and environmental influences

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 16:32