Child Development 138 (04) - Hembree
Social and Emotional Development
California State University, Sacramento
Spring, 2009 

picture of circle of friends


Family as Context

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 (Minuchin, 1985)





B. Socialization and Direct and Indirect Influence




C. Bronfenbrenner - Ecological 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?




3. Parenting in adolescence (Baumrind,  1991)

a. Baumrind’s view of optimal parenting in adolescence




b. Parenting styles in adolescence and adolescent competence/drug abuse



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. Consequences of divorce - immediate and long-term



  • differences as a function of age, sex, temperament





2. Amato & Bruce (1991) – What explains divorce effects?




3. Factors ameliorating the effects of divorce:

  • Parental conflict (Cummings et al.)


  • Non-custodial involvement and parenting support


  • Schools, day care


  • Extended family/support


  • Adequate financial resources


4. Remarriage




V. Child Abuse and Neglect

            A. Definitions:






           B.  Consequences of Maltreatment



            C. Factors associated with sexual abuse

                     1. Parental characteristics




                     2. Child characteristics




                     3. Family factors



                     4. Neighborhood



                      5. Culture



VI. Fathers

 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. Siblings

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: January 15, 2009