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Unformatted text preview: Week 9: Children & Week 9: Children & Parents
Professor Silverstein Socialization of Children
Socialization of Children Socialization: – Learning the ways of a society or social group so that one can function effectively in it. How Do Parents Socialize How Do Parents Socialize Their Children? Provide them with support – Love, acceptance, guidance, positive appraisal to build confidence and selfesteem
– This reinforces the child to please the parent Monitor and regulate their behavior – To control, limit or change behaviors
– Can be coercive through punishment or through discipline
– Can take the form of modeling or teaching
– Designed to reduce risky behavior and encourage appropriate behavior Four Styles of Four Styles of Parenting Authoritative style – Parents stress compliance to rules, but uses dialogue and little punishment. High levels of emotional support, and allows children to make choices. Children have higher selfesteem, creativity, and are selfreliant. Authoritarian style – Stresses use of discipline, sometimes physical punishment. Low levels of emotional support, with coercive control of children. Children lack creativity and are conformists. Four Styles of Parenting
Four Styles of Parenting Permissive style – Parents are warm and nurturing but not demanding. High levels of emotional support, with little control of children who may be independent but lack self
control. Neglectful – Parents provide for basic needs but are not involved in child’s life. May lead to estrangement. Outcomes are not good for child. Parental Monitoring: How Parental Monitoring: How Strict? What’s important? – Provide support to their children Material and emotional – Provide control Supervise and monitor behavior Teach acceptable limits of behavior Can parents be too strict? Risk Factors Among Children Who Risk Factors Among Children Who Are Spanked by Their Parents
Greater chance the child:
cheats or tells lies bullies or is cruel or mean to others does not feel sorry after misbehaving breaks things deliberately is disobedient at school has trouble getting along with teachers Not All Parents are Competent
Not All Parents are Competent Are alternative parents effectively substitute for otherwise unfit parents? Can grandparents substitute for parents? NSFH
DATA: Children (N = 1326) surveyed in the National Survey of Families & Households (NSFH) Nationally representative sample of children in the United States Two waves collected in 1987/8 and 1992/4 were utilized in this study Children were 512 at W1 and 1017 at W2 Behavior Problem Index
Behavior Problem Index Cheats or tells lies Bullies or is cruel/mean to others Does not feel sorry for misbehaving Disobedient at school Trouble getting along w/ teachers Sudden changes in mood/feeling Ccomplains no one loves him/her Too fearful or anxious Feels worthless or inferior
Unhappy, sad, or High strung, tense, nervous Argues too much
Disobedient at home Stubborn, sullen, or irritable Strong temper, loses it easily Difficulty concentrating e
Easily confused/in a fog impulsive—acts without thinking
Trouble with obsessions
Restless, overly active
Trouble getting along with others
Not liked by other children
Withdrawn, not involved with Family Environment: Social Climate
• How true are the following in your family? • Our family has fun together
• Things are tense and stressful in our family • Family members show concern and love for each other
• Family members feel distant and apart from each other
• Our family works as a team • Reported by mother or father at W2
• Rated from: very true (1) to not at all true (4)
• Reliability α=.76 • Scale divided into poor and good climate Grandparent Cohesion
Grandparent Cohesion Contact of grandchild with maternal and parental grandparents – none (1) to everyday (6) How close grandchild feels to grandparents – not at all close (1) to extremely close (10) How often does grandchild confide in grandparents if depressed or a difficult situation arises
– Not at all (1) to very often (4) 0.8 Cohesion with Grandparents and Behavioral
Problems by Family Climate 0.4
Factor Score Behavioral Problems 0.6 0.2
Good Family Climate 0
-2 -1.5 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 -0.2
-0.6 Cohesion with Grandparents Factor Score 2 0.8 Cohesion with Grandparents and Behavioral
Problems by Family Climate 0.4
Factor Score Behavioral Problems 0.6 Poor Family Climate
Good Family Climate
-2 -1.5 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 -0.2
-0.6 Cohesion with Grandparents Factor Score 2 Socialization and Ethnicity
Socialization and Ethnicity AfricanAmericans – Tend to use physical punishment more then whites. AsianAmericans – Tend to stress discipline and insist on obedience more than whites. Socialization of Children and Socialization of Children and Social Class Working class – Jobs tend to be closely supervised, perform repetitive tasks Professional class – Jobs tend to provide flexibility, creativity, and initiative These values are transmitted to children – Working class children tend to exhibit more conformity (obedience to authority)
– Professional class children tend to exhibit more autonomy (independent) Socialization and Gender
Socialization and Gender Girls and boys are socialized differently
Each is rewarded for acting in ways “appropriate” for their gender, and punished for acting in ways “inappropriate” for their gender
Reward/punishment can be direct praise for conformity or criticism for deviation. Modeling and direct instruction are also used. Socialization and Religion Socialization and Religion Conservative Protestant fathers –
– More authoritarian with their children
More likely to believe in traditional gender roles
More likely to combine discipline with “emotion work” May spank children more often, but also hug, praise and spend more time with them How much is religiosity transmitted across generations? Nesting of Grandchildren in Two Nesting of Grandchildren in Two ThreeGenerational Families Parent #1 Parent #1 Parent #2
Grandparent: Red Parent #2
Grandparent: Green LSOG Data Structure
LSOG Data Structure Grandchildren in 2000 (mean age = 26)
– G4 = 565 Parents in 1988 (mean age = 36)
– G3 = 341 Grandparents in 1971 (mean age =44)
– G2 = 257 Measures of Religiosity
Measures of Religiosity Religiosity items:
– Attendance at religious services: everyday to never.
Salience of religion: rank among 13 social values
Selfrated religiosity: very religious to not at all
Conservative religious beliefs: agreement with statements of biblical literalism God exists in the form as described in the Bible
All people today are descendents of Adam and Eve All children should receive religious training
Religion should play an important role in daily life Effect on GC Religiosity Standardized Effect of Parents' and Grandparents'
Religiosity on Grandchildren's Religiosity
0.2 0.101 0.1
Parents' Effect Grandparents' Effect Parent’s influence is more than three times that of the grandparent, but grandparents do influence their grandchildren net of parents. GC Religiosity Grandchildren's Religiosity by Levels of Grandparent's and
Parent's Religiosity 0.6
-0.6 Higher GP
Religiosity Low er Par Religiosity Higher Par Religiosity GC Religiosity Grandchildren's Religiosity by Levels of Grandparent's and
Parent's Religiosity 0.6
-0.6 Higher GP
Religiosity Low er Par Religiosity Higher Par Religiosity Grandchildren are most religious when both their parents and grandparents are more religious.
Suggests that several generations together reinforce a family culture of religiosity. GC Religiosity Grandchildren's Religiosity by GP's Religiosity Under Conditions of Parental
Low er GP Religiosity Higher GP Religiosity Parental divorce is associated with less religiosity in their children; grandparents do not compensate. GC Religiosity Grandchildren's Religiosity by GP's Religiosity Under Conditions of Parental
Low er GP Religiosity Higher GP Religiosity Grandparents are better able to transmit their religiosity to grandchildren within intact families. Are Fathers Important?
Are Fathers Important? Most research focuses on mothers, particularly their nuturance and attachment to the child.
But evidence is mounting that father involvement with young children (e.g., helping with homework) reduces risk of problem behaviors, and encourages cooperative behavior toward others.
Children from single parent families exhibit more problem behaviors. Ways That Fathers Make a Ways That Fathers Make a Difference By providing support to mother in her child care activities (indirect).
A cooperative marriage protects children by increasing their chances of success in their own relationships.
Provide role model for children—father’s occupational success is one of the best predictors of the child’s occupation. (Mothers for daughters also).
Enhances healthy separation of preadolescent boys from their mothers.
Provides a safe (nonromantic) model of “maleness” for adolescent girls. Ways That Fathers Make a Ways That Fathers Make a Difference Providing guidance (“quality time” more important than amount of time spent together.
However, the effect of fathers on children is weaker than the effect of mothers.
There are two schools of thought: – Essentialists: fathers provide something to children that mothers do not (e.g., practical learning vs. nurturing).
– Nonessentialists: having a second parent of the same gender provides an equal benefit—having a male parent is not essential. How Is Parenting How Is Parenting Compromised Unemployment and poverty produces marital conflict, depression, explosiveness, and harsh childrearing practices.
These can harm the wellbeing of children.
Grandmothers are often the “silent saviors” of families under such stress. Do Nontraditional Arrangements Do Nontraditional Arrangements Hurt Children? Single parenthood – Dropout rate and teenage pregnancy higher for children with one parent
– Half of this disadvantage can be explained by lower income
– Ability to monitor children may be compromised Nonparental childcare – Grandmother care: evidence shows good outcomes for children
– Daycare: no evidence of harm if mother has good attachment skills and program of high quality Grandmothers: Backup Grandmothers: Backup Resources The Case Behind the Grandparents’ The Case Behind the Grandparents’ Rights Movement Tommie Granville and Brad Troxel were not married and had two daughters, Isabelle and Natalie. Their relationship ended in June 1991. Jennifer and Gary Troxel are Brad’s parents, the paternal grandparents of Isabelle and Natalie.
After Tommie and Brad separated, Brad lived with his parents and regularly brought his daughters to his parents’ home for weekend visitation. The Case Behind the Grandparents’ The Case Behind the Grandparents’ Rights Movement Brad committed suicide in May 1993. The Troxels at first continued to see Isabelle and Natalie on a regular basis after their son’s death. The mother, Tommie Granville, informed the Troxels in October 1993 that she wished to limit their visitation with her daughters to one short visit per month. The Case Behind the Grandparents’ The Case Behind the Grandparents’ Rights Movement In December 1993, the Troxels filed a petition in State Court to obtain visitation rights with Isabelle and Natalie of two weekends of overnight visitation per month and two weeks of visitation each summer. How Did the Court How Did the Court Rule? The State Court supported the grandparents’ request, and added four hours of visiting on both of the petitioning grandparents’ birthdays.
The State Court ruled that it may order visitation rights for any person when visitation may serve the best interest of the child.
The Supreme Court of the U.S. overturned the state court decision, ruling in favor of parental rights. The Wellbeing of American The Wellbeing of American Children Compared with when? – First half of 20th century (1940s) 1/3 no running water 2/5 no flush toilets ½ no refrigerator 3/5 no central heating ate ½ as much beef, 1/3 as much chicken infant mortality rate 3x higher than today 53% graduated from high school compared with 86% today The Wellbeing of American The Wellbeing of American Children Compared with when? – In some ways better in 1960s and 1970s 16% below poverty in 1969 compared with 22% in 1993 and 18% in 2004 In 2004 24% of Latino children and 34% of black children lived in poverty More children lived with 2 parents in the 1960s and 1970s Better math and English scores Less obesity, more exercise Which Children? Since the 1970s Which Children? Since the 1970s Fortunes of Children Have Diverged More children living in luxury (50% above median income)
– Wellbeing increased More children living in relative poverty (less than ½ median family income)
– Wellbeing decreased Middle is declining – Wellbeing of children in the middle also slight decline Which Children? Since the 1970s Which Children? Since the 1970s Fortunes of Children Have Diverged Persistent poverty across childhood is more likely for African American & Latino children
– Living arrangements of children have diverged by income Decline in 2parent families took place more often among the poor and less educated Persistently poor more likely to live in singleparent families – Neighborhoods high in crime & drug abuse, few social services and jobs Demographic Factors, Child Well
Demographic Factors, Child Well
Being and Development Demographic factors Macro and micro level health and socioeconomic demographic contexts that affect child development.
Child wellbeing indicatorsMeasures used to track the macro and micro
level health and socioeconomic demographic contexts in which child development occurs. Infant Mortality Rates
Austria # Infant Deaths Rank
4.4 Country 17
Republic of Ireland
New Zealand 28
Malta # Infant
6.5 Children and Parents: Gay
and Lesbian Families Presence of Children by Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Partnership
0% 5 5
22 22 36
59 95 95
78 78 64
41 Partnered Partnered L Partnered
0 Married 1+ Not
W Research Questions Have Been Formulated
around Providing Evidence for Custody
• Are divorced lesbians as mentally and emotionally
healthy as divorced heterosexual mothers– are they
good mother material?
• Are the mothering and fathering practices of gays and
lesbians different than their heterosexual counterparts?
• Do children fare better/worse in same-sex families?
• Does parents’ sexual orientation influence children’s
• Are gays and lesbians more likely to abuse their
children? Why Might We Expect
• Absence of father (mother) figure
– Role modeling socialization of sexual orientation • Stigma/homophobia and social ostracism
• Less social support (social capital) from
• Less legal support
• Other? Overview of Findings: Demographic
• Children not uncommon in lesbian “families”
• Some evidence that gay and lesbian couples in
“families” are more racially diverse
• Large proportion of gays and lesbians in
“families” were formerly married
• Substantially higher levels of education among
partnered gays and lesbians Overview of Findings: Behavioral
• Little difference in relationship quality
• Some evidence that division of labor is more
egalitarian in same-sex couples
• Little difference in children’s educational and
– Just like other families a high degree of parental conflict is
detrimental to children’s outcomes • Little difference in children’s own sexual orientation
• Children in lesbian “families” have more contact with
• Differences in relationships with parents/siblings may
be a source of stress
• Extremely limited knowledge of gay “families” Study : Sexual Orientation of Children
of Lesbian Mothers
• Why should we expect children’s sexual orientation to be
influenced by family type?
– Assume sexual orientation in adulthood is the product of a
complex interaction between the individual and the environment
– All else equal, growing up with same-sex parents may socialize
children to be more open to same-sex relationships
– Exposure to same-sex couples (not only parents) may also
– In turn, this openness may influence the development of sexual
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This note was uploaded on 05/26/2011 for the course SOCI 169gm taught by Professor Pillitteri during the Spring '07 term at USC.
- Spring '07