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Kathryn PutneyChapter 8 summary

Kathryn PutneyChapter 8 summary - Kathryn Putney Chapter 8...

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Kathryn Putney Chapter 8 summary The family is the child’s most important source of support and nurture in early development. According to most developmentalists, families have a lasting influence on a child’s development. However, some alternative perspectives suggest that we exaggerate the importance of parental behavior in children’s long term development. For example, Harris (1995) argued that the peer groups provide the major socialization force in children’s personality development. Others also point out that the greater role of genetic influences on psychological development. But for centuries families have been viewed as the social unit with primary responsibility for preparing the child to be a productive member of society. Although socialization has long been a matter of interst for a child development researchers, ideas about the direction and complexity of this process has changed. Parents used to be viewed as “all powerful” because the constructed and shaped the child’s environment. Most child development theorists today view family interactions as part of a highly complex system. From a systems perspective, parents shape their children, but the children influence them as well. For example, a baby’s temperament elicits different responses from the parents. This creates a pattern of responses. In a system view, parent-child interactions are mutual and reciprocal. Family systems are also adaptive through processes of self-stabilization and self-organization. Families and the interactions of their members tend toward equilibrium or exhiditing some resistance to change instigated be external forces. In 2000 about 27% of students under the age of 18 were living with only one parent. Of that 27%, 21% lived with their mother, and 5.8% with their father. And about 1/3 of births are to unmarried parents. Divorce produces the largest portion of single parents. Other parents may be widowed, or because the other parent is incapable or one parent may be in the military. Also,
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many mothers become single parents due to having children out of wedlock. These different
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