Child Development 138 (04) - Hembree
Social and Emotional Development
California State University, Sacramento
Fall, 2010 


Family as Context for Social Development

I. Introduction

Discussion - Changes in the American Family

In your group, discuss the following:

 1) Think about and discuss a particular experience you had in your family, one that you think influenced you. In what ways do you think experiences in the family influence us as adults?

2) Discuss some of the differences in the way you were treated by your mother and your father. What were some of the similarities?

3)  What are some of the changes in the American family in the last 50 years?  What consequences do you think these changes have for children's development?


II. Family as system

A. Systems theory applied to family





B. Socialization and Direct and Indirect Influence





C. Bronfenbrenner - BioEcological approach






III.  Socialization within the family - Parenting

A. Traditional approaches

1.  Psychoanalytic




2.  Behaviorist 



More recent trends:

·         decline of behaviorism



·         advent of attachment theory (Bowlby)



·         changes in ideas about optimal parenting



B.  Baumrind:

1. Dimensions of parenting:





2. Parenting style 

·         Authoritarian


·         Authoritative


·         Permissive/indulgent


·         Indifferent/neglectful


·         Why does Authoritative Parenting work?



C. Variability in parenting

1. social class




2. Ethnic differences




3. What contributes to parenting?

·         Belsky process model






IV. Diversity in families

A. Adoptive families



B. Gay and Lesbian Families




C. Divorce and Blended families

1. Amato (2010) Research on Divorce: Continuing trends and new developments



2. Divorce as a process (Pre-divorce, crisis-point, post-divorce)



3. Consequences of divorce- immediate and long-term, differences due to:

age, sex, temperament


4. McCoy, Cummings & Davies (2009) Constructive and destructive marital conflict 

5.      Post-divorce factors ameliorating the effects of divorce:

·         Reduce interparental conflict


·         Custody arrangements and financial support


·         Parental availability (Authoritative parenting style)


·         Extended family/support


·         Schools, day care

D.    Remarried and Blended Families

1.  Hetherington (2003) Adjustment of children


·         Gender and age differences


2.  Continued conflict and outcomes


3.  Competition between parents

·         Decline in father involvement


4. Ameliorating factors


V. Child Abuse and Neglect

A. Definitions:

1. Physical abuse

2. Sexual abuse

3. Physical neglect

4. Mental neglect

5. Psychological abuse

B. Consequences of abuse



  • Differences in children’s outcomes


C. Factors associated with abuse

1. Parental characteristics


2. Child characteristics



3. Family factors



4. Sexual abuse


D. Contextual triggers: The ecology of child abuse

1. High-risk neighborhoods



2. Cultural influences






VI. Father-child Relationships

 A. Fathering and Mothering

1. changing view of fathers and their direct influence on children



2. may play a different role than mothers in socialization




B. Research on fathers

1. Fathers and Peer Relationships




2. Expanding our definition of “father” (Coley, 1998)





VII. Sibling Relationships

A.  Dimensions of the sibling relationship



B. Explaining between-family differences

§         Sibling Status variables


§         Child characteristics


§         Family factors     


 C. Positive roles for siblings

·         Attachment figures/caretakers (Stewart; Garner)




·         Support/intimacy (Burhmester & Furman)





·         Social understanding (Dunn)





D. Parent Responses to Sibling conflict






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Send problems, comments or suggestions to: Updated: August 25, 2010