Development in Middle
and Late Childhood
in Middle and Late Childhood
Emotional and Families Peers Schools
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 2
The Self Emotional Moral Gender
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 3
• The Development of Self-
• Self-Esteem and Self-Concept
• Industry Versus Inferiority
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 4
The Development of Self-
• Self-understanding shifts from defining oneself
through external characteristics to defining oneself
through internal characteristics.
• Elementary school children are more likely to
define themselves in terms of social
• Self-understanding now includes increasing
reference to social comparison—what they can do
in comparison with others.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 5
Self-Esteem and Self-Concept
• What Are Self-Esteem and Self-
• Research on Self-Esteem
• Increasing Children’s Self-Esteem
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 6
What Are Self-Esteem and
• Self-esteem - global evaluations of the self
• Also referred to as self-worth or self-image
• Self-concept - domain-specific evaluations
of the self
• Children can make evaluations about
themselves academically, athletically, based
on their appearance, etc.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 7
Research on Self-Esteem
• Self-esteem found to be stable at least across
a month or so of time.
• Self-esteem can change, especially in response
to transitions in life.
• Elementary school children engage in social
comparison, which can lower their self-esteem.
• Low-self esteem is related to depression.
• Much research is correlational not experimental.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 8
Increasing Children’s Self-
• Identification of the causes of low self-
esteem and the domains of competence
important to the self
• Emotional support and social approval
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 9
Industry Versus Inferiority
• In Erikson’s fourth stage, industry refers to the
fact that children become interested in how things
are made and how they work.
• When encouraged in their efforts to make, build,
and work, children’s sense of industry increases.
• Parents who see their children’s efforts as
“making mischief” or “making a mess” encourage
children’s development of a sense of inferiority.
• School plays a very important role in this stage.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 10
• Developmental Changes
• Emotional Intelligence
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 11
• Increased ability to understand such complex
emotions as pride and shame
• Increased understanding that more than one
emotion can be experienced in a particular situation
• Increased tendency to take into fuller account the
events leading to emotional reactions
• Marked improvements in the ability to suppress or
conceal negative emotional reactions
• Use of self-initiated strategies for redirecting
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 12
• The concept of emotional intelligence initially
was proposed as a form of social intelligence that
involves the ability to monitor one’s own and
others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate
among them, and to use this information to guide
one’s thinking and action.
• Goleman’s view of emotional intelligence involves:
– Developing Emotional Self-Awareness
– Managing Emotions
– Reading Emotions
– Handling Relationships
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 13
• Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral
• Kohlberg’s Levels of Moral
• Kohlberg’s Critics
• Prosocial Behavior and Altruism
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 14
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral
• Lawrence Kohlberg stressed that moral
development is based primarily on moral
reasoning and unfolds in stages.
• He arrived at his view after 20 years of
using a unique interview with children in
which they are presented with a series of
stories in which characters face moral
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 15
• A key concept in understanding is
• It is the developmental change from
behavior that is externally controlled to
behavior that is controlled by internal
standards and principles.
• As children and adolescents develop, their
moral thoughts become more internalized.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 16
Kohlberg’s Levels of Moral
• Level 1: Preconventional Level
– Stage 1: Heteronomous Morality
– Stage 2: Individualism, Purpose, and Exchange
• Level 2: Conventional Level
– Stage 3: Mutual Interpersonal Expectations,
Relationships, and Interpersonal Conformity
– Stage 4: Social System Morality
• Level 3: Postconventional Level
– Stage 5: Social Contract or Utility and Individual Rights
– Stage 6: Universal Ethical Principles
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 17
• Moral Thought and Moral
• Culture and Moral Development
• Family Processes and Moral
• Gender and the Care Perspective
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 18
Moral Thought and Moral
• Kohlberg’s theory has been criticized for
placing too much emphasis on moral
thought and not enough emphasis on moral
• Moral reasons can sometimes be a shelter
for immoral behavior.
• Cheaters and thieves may know what is
right yet still do what is wrong.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 19
Culture and Moral Development
• Kohlberg’s theory has been criticized for being
• Moral reasoning is more culture-specific than
• His scoring system does not recognize higher-
level moral reasoning in certain cultural groups.
• His system would not score values related to:
– Communal equity and collective happiness in Israel.
– The unity and sacredness of all life forms in India.
– The relation of the individual to the community in New
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 20
Family Processes and Moral
• Kohlberg claimed family processes are essentially
unimportant in children’s moral development, and
that peers are more likely to be an influence.
• Many developmentalists believe that Kohlberg
underestimated the contribution of family
relationships to moral development.
• They emphasize that inductive discipline
positively influences moral development.
• Parents’ moral values are also believed to
influence children’s developing moral thoughts.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 21
Gender and the Care
• Kohlberg’s theory is a justice perspective that
focuses on the rights of the individual; individuals
stand alone and independently make moral
• The care perspective is a moral perspective that
views people in terms of their connectedness with
others and emphasizes interpersonal
communication, relationships with others, and
concern for others.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 22
Gender and the Care
• Carol Gilligan believed Kohlberg greatly under-
played the care perspective in moral development,
due to being male, using primarily males for his
research, and basing his theory on male responses.
• Gilligan’s research found that girls consistently
interpret moral dilemmas in terms of human
• Other research has found that the gender differences
in moral reasoning are not absolute.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 23
Prosocial Behavior and Altruism
• Altruism - an unselfish interest in helping
someone else; has its beginnings in sharing.
• Equality - everyone is treated the same; one of the
first principles of morality used by elementary
• Merit - giving extra rewards for hard work, a
talented performance, or other laudatory acts.
• Benevolence - giving special consideration to
individuals in a disadvantaged condition.
• Mid to late elementary children apply merit and
benevolence have an understanding of equity.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 24
• Gender Stereotypes
• Gender Similarities and Differences
• Gender-Role Classification
• Gender in Context
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 25
• Broad categories that reflect our impressions and
beliefs about females and males.
• Refer to an image of what the typical member of a
particular social category is like.
• Males are widely believed to be dominant,
independent, aggressive, achievement-oriented,
• Females are widely believed to be nurturant,
affiliative, less esteemed, and more helpful.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 26
Gender Similarities and
• Physical Similarities and Differences
• Cognitive Similarities and Differences
• Socioemotional Similarities and
• Gender Controversy
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 27
Physical Similarities and
• Females have a longer life expectancy.
• Females are less likely to develop physical or
• Males have twice the risk of coronary disease.
• Females produce more “good” cholesterol.
• Women have about twice the body fat of men.
• Fat is concentrated around breasts and hips in
women, the abdomen in men.
• On average, males grow to be 10% taller.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 28
Cognitive Similarities and
• Controversy exists as to true cognitive differences
between males and females.
• Some studies have shown that males perform
better on math and visuospatial tasks, while
females have better language skills.
• Overall, girls are found to be far superior students,
while boys do slightly better at math and science.
• Girls are taking similar math and science courses
in high school and use computers in a variety of
ways, however, they are still far less likely to go
into careers in science and technology.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 29
• One of the most consistent gender differences is
that boys are more aggressive than girls.
• Boys are more active than girls.
• Males usually show less self-regulation than
• Low self-regulation has been found to be linked
with greater aggression, the teasing of others,
overreaction to frustration, low cooperation, and
inability to delay gratification.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 30
• Much controversy exists about similarities and
differences between males and females.
• Alice Eagly argues that the belief that gender
differences are small or nonexistent is rooted in a
feminist commitment to gender similarity and is
seen as a route to political equality.
• Many feminists fear that gender differences will
be interpreted as deficiencies on the part of
females, and will be seen as biologically based.
• The subsequent consequence would be the revival
of traditional stereotypes that females are innately
inferior to males.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 31
• What Is Gender-Role
• Androgyny and Education
• Gender-Role Transcendence
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 32
What Is Gender-Role
• In the past, a well-adjusted boy was supposed to be
independent, aggressive, and powerful.
• A well-adjusted girl was supposed to be dependent,
nurturant, and uninterested in power.
• Society considered masculine characteristics healthy
and good, feminine characteristics undesirable.
• The concept of androgyny was developed in the
1970s in response to dissatisfaction by both males
and females with the burdens imposed by their roles.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 33
• Refers to the presence of desirable masculine and
feminine characteristics in the same person.
• The Bem Sex-Role Inventory is used to assess
• Sandra Bem argues that androgynous individuals
are more flexible, competent, and mentally healthy
than their masculine or feminine counterparts.
• To some degree, which gender-role classification
is best depends on the context involved.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 34
Androgyny and Education
• In general, it is easier to teach androgyny to girls
than to boys, and easier before middle school.
• Advocates of androgyny programs believe that
traditional sex-typing is harmful for all students
and especially has prevented many girls from
experiencing equal opportunity.
• Detractors argue that androgynous educational
programs are too value-laden and ignore the
diversity of gender roles in our society.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 35
• Gender-role transcendence is the view that when an
individual’s competence is at issue, it should be
conceptualized on a personal basis, rather than on
the basis of masculinity, femininity, or androgyny.
• We should think of ourselves as people; not as
masculine, feminine, or androgynous.
• Parents should rear their children to be competent
• This attitude helps to avoid stereotyping.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 36
Gender in Context
• Gender-role classification involves a
• It may be helpful to think of personality in
terms of person-situation interaction, rather
than personality traits alone.
• Different gender roles might be more
appropriate, depending on the context or
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 37
Parent-Child Societal Changes
Issues in Families
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 38
• The introduction of chores and payment
• Helping children learn to entertain themselves
• Monitoring children’s lives outside the family
in school and peer settings
• Discipline is easier than during early
childhood and often easier than in adolescence
• Coregulation of control
• Life changes for parents
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 39
Societal Changes in Families
• Latchkey Children
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 40
• These children have more adjustment problems.
• Problems mimic those of children of divorce:
– academic problems
– externalizing and internalizing problems
– lower self-esteem
– early sexual activity
• There is an increase in adjustment problems of
children in newly remarried families.
• Restabilization may take up to 5 years longer than
in divorced families.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 41
• The uncertainty in stepfamilies about who is in or
out of the family and who is performing or
responsible for certain tasks in the family system.
• In early remarriage, stepfathers tend to behave like
polite strangers to win over stepchildren.
• In longer established stepfamilies, a distant,
disengaged parenting style predominates for
stepfathers, although conflict can remain high.
• Stepmothers have a more difficult time integrating
themselves into stepfamilies.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 42
• These children typically do not see their parents
from the time they leave for school in the morning
until about 6 or 7 P.M.
• Latchkey children are largely unsupervised for 2
to 4 hours a day during the week.
• During the summer they may be unsupervised for
entire days, 5 days a week.
• The experiences of latchkey children vary
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 43
Findings on Latchkey
• Some grow up too fast, due to responsibilities.
• Without limits and parental supervision, many
more easily find their way into trouble, possibly
stealing, vandalizing, or abusing a sibling.
• In a 1987 national poll, teachers rated the
latchkey children phenomenon the number
one reason that children have problems in schools.
• Parental monitoring and authoritative parenting
help the child cope more effectively with latchkey
experiences, especially in resisting peer pressure.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 44
Peer Bullying Social Friends
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 45
• Popular children - frequently nominated as a best
friend, rarely disliked by peers.
• Neglected children - infrequently nominated as a
best friend, not disliked by peers.
• Rejected children - infrequently nominated as a
best friend, actively disliked by peers.
• Controversial children - frequently nominated
both as someone’s best friend and as being
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 46
• Often have more serious adjustment problems
later in life than do neglected children.
• The key factor in predicting whether rejected
children would engage in delinquent behavior or
drop out of school during adolescence was
aggression toward peers in elementary school.
• Not all are aggressive; 10-20% are shy.
• The goal of training programs for rejected children
is to help them listen to peers, instead of trying to
dominate peer interactions.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 47
• Characteristics of Victims
• Effects of Bullying
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 48
Characteristics of Victims
• Victims have parents who are intrusive and demanding
but low in responsiveness with their children.
• Boys who have intensely close relationships with their
parents are victimized more.
• This has been speculated to indicate that overly close
and emotionally intense relationships between parents
and sons might foster self-doubts and worries that are
perceived as weaknesses.
• Children who experience internalizing problems,
physical weakness, and peer rejection tend to be
victimized over time.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 49
Effects of Bullying
• Victims of bullies can suffer both short-
term and long-term effects.
• Short-term they can become depressed, lose
interest in schoolwork, or avoid going to school.
• The effects of bullying can persist into adulthood.
• Male victims bullied in childhood reported more
depression and lower self-esteem in their twenties.
• Boys who were bullies in middle school were
much more likely to to have a criminal conviction
in their twenties.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 50
• Involves thoughts about social matters.
• Social knowledge is involved in children’s ability
to get along with peers.
• An important part of children’s social life involves
knowing what goals to pursue in poorly defined or
• Social relationship goals, such as how to initiate
and maintain a social bond are also important.
• Children need to know what scripts to follow to
get other children to be their friends.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 51
• Friends are companions.
• Friends are stimulating.
• Friends provide physical support.
• Friends provide ego support.
• Friends are a source of social comparison.
• Friends are a source of intimacy and affection.
• Intimacy in friendships is self-disclosure and the
sharing of private thoughts.
• Similarity is very common among friends.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 52
The Transition Socioeconomic Cross-Cultural
to Elementary Status and Comparison
School Ethnicity in of Achievement
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 53
The Transition to Elementary
• Children entering 1st grade take up a new role,
interact and develop relationships with new
significant others, adopt new reference groups, and
develop new standards for judging themselves.
• School provides children with a rich source of new
ideas to shape their sense of self.
• There is emerging concern about new evidence
showing that early schooling proceeds mainly on the
basis of negative feedback.
• In school, children’s learning is still integrated.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 54
Socioeconomic Status and
Ethnicity in Schools
• The Education of Students from
Low Socioeconomic Backgrounds
• Ethnicity in Schools
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 55
The Education of Students
from Low Socioeconomic
• Many children in poverty face problems at home
and at school that present barriers to their learning.
• Many schools of children from impoverished
backgrounds attend have fewer resources than do
the schools in higher-income neighborhoods.
• Schools in low-income areas are more likely to
encourage rote learning rather than thinking skills.
• Many of these schools provide students with sub-
standard learning environments.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 56
Ethnicity in Schools
• The school experiences of students from different
ethnic groups vary considerably.
• School segregation is still a factor in the education
of children of color in the U.S.
• John Ogbu proposed the view that ethnic minority
students are placed in a position of subordination and
exploitation in the American educational system.
• He believes students of color have inferior
educational opportunities, are exposed to educators
who have low academic expectations of them, and
encounter negative stereotypes.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 57
Strategies for Improving Relations
Between Ethnically Diverse Students
• Turn the classroom into a jigsaw classroom.
• Encourage students to have positive personal contact
with diverse other students.
• Encourage students to engage in perspective taking.
• Help students think critically and be emotionally
intelligent when cultural issues are involved.
• Reduce bias.
• View the school and community as a team to help
support teaching efforts.
• Be a competent cultural mediator.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 58
• In a cross-national comparison of 9- to 13-year-old
students, the U.S. finished 13th out of 15 in
science, and 15th out of 16 in math achievement.
• In this study, Korean and Taiwanese students
finished first and second, respectively.
• Studies have shown Asian students consistently
outperform American students.
• Critics say many studies compare U.S. children to a
“select” group of international children.
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 59
Reasons for Cross-Cultural
• Research found Asian teachers spent more of their
time teaching math than did American teachers.
• Asian students were in school an average of 240
days a year, compared with 178 days in the U.S.
• American parents had much lower expectations
for their children’s education than Asian parents.
• American parents were more likely to believe that
their children’s achievement was due to innate
ability, and they were less likely to help them with
Black Hawk College Chapter 11 60