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Chapter 11: The Family


2. The Family as a Social System. Families develop, too. ... Approval of coercive methods and use of corporal punishment. What constitutes abuse is debated ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 11: The Family

Chapter 11 The Family
  • Functions
  • The Family as a Social System
  • Parent-Child Socialization
  • Siblings
  • Diversity in Families

1. Functions of the Family
  • Socialization
  • LeVines parenting goals
  • Survival goal
  • Economic goal
  • Self-actualization goal

2. The Family as a Social System
  • Types of families and their effects
  • Nuclear families
  • Direct effects
  • Indirect effects
  • Coparenting

2. The Family as a Social System
  • Families develop, too.
  • Families are embedded in larger contexts.

2. The Family as a Social System
  • How are families changing?
  • More single adults.
  • Postponing marriage by choice.
  • Decreasing s of children.
  • More working women
  • More divorce.
  • More single-parent families.
  • More children living in poverty.
  • More remarriage.

3. Parent-child socialization.
  • Two major dimensions
  • Acceptance/responsiveness
  • Demandingness/control
  • Four patterns
  • Baumrind

3. Parent-child socialization Baumrind.
High Low
High Low
3. Parent-child socialization.
  • Outcomes of the Baumrind styles for kids in the
  • Authoritative
  • Authoritarian
  • Permissive
  • Disengaged

3. Parent-child socialization.
  • Social class variations
  • Working-class parents tend to
  • Stress obedience and respect for authority.
  • Be more restrictive more power-assertive
  • Talk to and reason less frequently.
  • Show less warmth and affection.

3. Parent-child socialization.
  • Ethnic variations
  • Ruth Chaos work in China

4. Siblings.
  • Welcoming a new baby
  • Rivalry
  • Positive contributions
  • Attachment
  • Modeling and teaching
  • Social cognition
  • Only children What are some stereotypes?

4. Siblings.
  • Only children
  • Relatively high in self-esteem and achievement
  • More obedient
  • Slightly more intellectually competent
  • Likely to establish good relations with peers
  • Evidence is that this is NOT a result of parental
  • One-child family policy in China

The Content of Sibling Interactions
  • Dr. Maynards work in Chiapas
  • Found that siblings were good at scaffolding by
    age 8
  • Content varied across families
  • In 1997, siblings in commerce-oriented families
    played store, but siblings in farming families
    did not
  • and vice versa
  • By 2003, siblings in both groups played store
  • Rabain-Jamin, Maynard, Greenfield (2003)
  • Chiapas and Senegal
  • We find that both engage in sibling caretaking.
  • In Chiapas, more cooperation.
  • In Senegal, more negotiation.

5. Diversity in family life.
  • A. Adoptive families
  • Usually have secure attachments
  • Caregiver sensitivity predicts attachment quality
  • Desire to be a parent is more important than the
    biological tie
  • Still, there can be incompatibilities.
  • Many adoptees have been neglected or abused prior
    to their adoptions
  • Adoptees display more learning difficulties, more
    emotional problems, and higher rates of
    delinquencythan nonadopted peers

5. Diversity in family life.
  • Adoptive families, contd.
  • Kids do better if adopted than if going through
    foster care system
  • More open adoptions are occurring now than ever
  • Can share information and have contact with birth
  • Does not confuse children or undermine their

5. Diversity in family life.
  • B. DI families (Donor insemination)
  • Two parents
  • Worrries/concerns
  • Stress associated with infertility may lead to
    dysfunctional parenting
  • Father is not genetically-related and may be more
    distant and less nurturant
  • Two-parent families The Reality
  • Children adjust as well as other children (no
    greater problems)
  • Mothers more sensitive than in adoptive families,
    or naturally conceived children
  • Fathers less involved in discipline, but just as
    involved in other aspects

5. Diversity in family life.
  • DI families (Donor insemination)
  • One parent
  • Not a lot of research on this cant make
    conclusions yet

5. Diversity in family life.
  • C. Gay and lesbian families
  • Several million gay men or lesbians are parents
  • Through previous heterosexual marriage, adoption,
    or DI
  • Equally good at parenting as heterosexuals equal
    knowledge and skill as parents
  • Does not change probability that someone will
    grow up to be homosexual
  • Children are just as cognitive, emotionally, and
    morally mature, on average, as children of
    heterosexual couples
  • Virtually indistinguishable

5. Diversity in family life.
  • D. Divorce
  • 40-50 of todays marriages will end in divorce
  • Before the divorce conflict
  • Hetherington Better to divorce than stay
    together and miserable, esp. if fighting a lot
  • Staying together for the sake of the children
    may actually not pay off for anyone.

5. Diversity in family life.
  • Divorce
  • After the divorce Immediate effects
  • A crisis period of one year or more
  • Usually a decrease in SES, esp. for mother
  • Parents need to agree on how to co-parent
  • There will be new roles and responsibilities for
    each person
  • Single parents may feel isolated from married

5. Diversity in family life.
  • After the divorce factors
  • Age
  • Some findings that younger is worse
  • Sex of child
  • Some findings that its worse for boys
  • E.g., Hetherington finds there may be a
    steeling effect for girls

5. Diversity in family life.
  • After the divorce factors
  • Long-term reactions
  • Wallerstein finds some feel impact 20 years
    later, after a divorce of parents in childhood
  • Problems with her data
  • Very small sample
  • People who go to therapy and claim to be upset
  • leaving out the vast majority who are not in
    therapy, have adjusted normally, and are not

5. Diversity in family life.
  • Poor adjustment outcomes from parents divorce
  • antisocial behavior
  • low self-esteem
  • peer rejection
  • drug use
  • depression
  • poor academic performance
  • deviant peer associations
  • These increase with number of marital
    transitions, e.g., from intact to single-parent,
    from that to stepparent, and beyond

5. Diversity in family life.
  • After the divorce factors
  • Overall
  • Researchers find that children in stable,
    single-parent or stepparent homes are usually
    better adjusted than those in conflict-ridden

5. Diversity in family life.
  • Remarriage
  • 70-75 of divorced people remarry
  • Mother/stepfather family
  • Best if stepfather is warm and accepting
  • Boys benefit more than girls from gaining a
  • Father/stepmother family
  • Girl may relate to new woman figure
  • Stepmothers typically play a more active role
    than stepfathers.

5. Diversity in family life.
  • Remarriage, contd.
  • The ownness effect
  • men and women display more warmth and support
    with their biological children than with
  • Early adolescence is a more difficult time to
    adjust than childhood or later adolescence.
  • Again, the vast majority of kids are O.K.
  • Perfectly normal teenagers without prolonged

5. Diversity in family life.
  • How to smooth the road to recovery
  • Adequate financial support
  • Good parenting by custodial parent
  • Social/emotional support from noncustodial
  • Additional social support for all
  • Minimize additional stress

5. Diversity in family life.
  • E. Working mothers
  • Their children may
  • have higher self-esteem
  • be more independent
  • have higher aspirations
  • have less stereotyped views of gender roles

6. Child abuse
  • A breakdown of parenting
  • Abuse includes any extreme maltreatment
  • Physical battering, sexual molestation,
    psychological insults such as persistent
    ridicule, rejection, and terrorization, and
    physical or emotional neglect.
  • Most abuse in US is neglect, but multiple kinds
    of abuse are often present.
  • One million cases a year are substantiated by
    Child Protective Services. (out of 3 million

6. Child abuse
  • Who are the abusers?
  • 20-40 of abusers have an alcohol or drug problem
    that precipitates abuse
  • 30 become abusers themselves
  • Many are emotionally insecure themselves
  • Think that children are disrespectful or are
    rejecting them, and they act out against
  • Not understanding what children are capable of.

6. Child abuse
  • Ecological influences
  • High-risk neighborhoods
  • Typically lacking in social services, socially
    isolated, poor, transient, lacking in parks,
    preschool, rec. centers
  • Culture?
  • Some cultures favor physical punishment over
  • Approval of coercive methods and use of corporal
  • What constitutes abuse is debated

6. Child abuse
  • Consequences?
  • Intellectual deficits, academic difficulties,
    depression, social anxiety, low self-esteem,
    troubled relationships with teachers and peers
  • Neglected children are worse off academically
  • Tend not to get any stimulation
  • Hostility, overt aggression are common among
    physically abused kids.
  • Sexual abuse
  • Anxiety, depression, acting out, behavioral
    withdrawal, academic difficulties
  • 1/3 have PTSD