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Dodge, D. The importance of curriculum in achieving quality child care. Child Welfare, 74 6 , — Elkind, D. Miseducation: Preschoolers at risk. New York: Alfred A. Fromberg, D. Seefeldt Ed. New York: Teachers College Press. Garvey, C. Play 2nd ed. Hartup, W. The peer relations. Hetherington Ed. Mussen Series Ed. Socialization, personality, and social development pp.

New York: Wiley Google Scholar. Having friends, making friends, and keeping friends. Hohmann, M. Young children in action: A manual for preschool educators. Humphreys, A. Rough and tumble play, friendship and dominance in school children—Evidence for continuity and change with age. Child Development, 58 1 , — Hyson, M. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 12 3 , — Johnson, J.

Play and integration. Johnson and T. Yawkey Eds. Katz, L. Engaging children's minds: The project approach. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Kemple, K. Teachers' beliefs and reported practices concerning sociodramatic play. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 17 2 , 19— King, N. Play: The kindergarteners' perspective. The Elementary School Journal, 80 2 , 80— Work and play in the classroom.

Social Education, 46 2 , — School uses of materials traditionally associated with children's play. Theories and Research in Social Education, 10 3 , 17— Kogan, N. Stylistic variation in childhood and adolescence: Creativity, metaphor and cognitive styles. Flavell and E. Markman Eds. New York: John Wiley. Mann, D. Serious play. Teachers College Record, 97 3 , — Pellegrini, A. The relationship between kindergarteners' play and achievement in pre-reading, language, and writing.

Psychology in the Schools, 17 4 , — Ten years after: A reexamination of symbolic play and literacy research. Reading Research Quarterly, 28 2 , — Rubin, K. The play observation scale POS Rev.

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Waterloo, Ontario: University of Ontario. Fantasy play: Its role in the development of social skills and social cognition. Rubin Ed.


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San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Spodek, B. In his three-stage model, behavior is initially controlled primarily through the speech of others usually adults. In stage two the child's overt speech becomes an increasingly effective behavior regulator, and in stage three the child's covert or inner speech aids in effective self-regulation. Distinctions between these various theoretical orientations are often not clear, and, as is evident here, considerable overlap exists among the avenues of research. Nevertheless, these efforts all highlight the cognitive behavior link and emphasize the growing awareness of the need to include such internal and "mediational" constructs as self-concept as well as other cognitive structures.

Component models of self-regulation specify the processes that trigger self-regulation and the sequence in which they occur. Like the cognitive behavior formulations of self-regulation, these models emphasize the importance of cognitive mediating processes to understand the relationship between cognition and behavior. While originally formulated for application to adults, the study of their application to children is growing. While the various-component models differ in their specification of the critical processes involved e.

Under the Kanfer model, for example, the child may develop new behaviors as well as regulate previously learned ones. For example, in learning to write the letters of the alphabet, children may carefully monitor their writing behaviors, compare their work with former efforts or with an ideal model, and either modify their writing to more closely approximate their goals or feel satisfied with their accomplishments and leave them as is.

A more complex and more social example is the reaction of the child who impulsively takes a favorite toy away from a playmate. The chain of quiet play behavior has been broken. The child sees the friend's unhappiness, evaluates his or her behavior against the value of "nice boys and girls share," experiences guilt, and adjusts his or her behavior by returning the toy and resuming play. The models also share an emphasis on self-knowledge as primary in self-regulation.

Carver and Scheier explicitly implicate self-understanding in their description of the function and salience of self-monitoring and self-anchored reference standards or values Carver et al. Attention or focus on the self serves an important mediating role in self-regulation. Directing attention to the self increases the tendency to compare one's present state with relevant and salient reference values and results in increased conformity to these standards.

Within Bandura's model, perceived self-efficacy is critical to effective self-regulation. While initial efficacy experiences are centered in the family, peers assume an increasingly important role in the school-age child's developing self-knowledge of his or her capacities. It is through peer interactions that children broaden the scope of or make finer distinctions as to their capacities and subsequent efficacy. The relationship between peer affiliations and efficacy development is viewed as reciprocal and as capable of working to the benefit or the detriment of the child.

Research on self-management has been characterized by a diversity of theoretical approaches. Unfortunately, advances in one school of thought are rarely considered by another, and the result has been minimal theoretical integration. As a consequence, much of the work has served to explain only pieces of the phenomenon. Many are too global to be of practical utility e. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of self-management and the range of intervening variables, a streamlining and integration of major findings from the fields of self-theory, cognitive psychology, social learning theory, ego development, and developmental psychology will surely be necessary.

Self-management is a crucial concern of middle childhood, yet much of the research is not couched within a developmental perspective. This omission partly reflects the difficulty of reliably measuring and understanding the various components and processes of self-management given the accelerated changes that characterize normal growth during this period. For example, are the various components of self-regulation equally important at all ages? At a minimum, the cumulative and age-related nature of children's learning must be acknowledged Staats, Scaled-down models of self-regulation based on adult behavior may be not only insufficient but also inaccurate.

Harter b suggests that the order of acquisition of critical components of the self-regulation process i. Moreover, constructs and components of the self that are central and meaningful to the adult's self-definition may not be relevant to the child's self-definition or may be relevant in very different ways. Similarly, the manner and sequence of information processing and decision making changes with age as the child's cognitive skills such as viewing the self as an object and reinforcing the self without external supports increase.

Following this line of thought, Harter has pressed for the need to distinguish between the self as knower active agent engaging in the processes of self-management and the self as object cognitive construction to which these processes are applied. Differentiating ontogenetic changes within these two realms should provide a more comprehensive understanding of self-observation, self-evaluation, and self-response and of the linkage between self-knowledge and self-management. In short, differentiation among the various dimensions e.

In one attempt at synthesizing the relevant speculative and empirical literatures, Karoly presented a tentative four-component model that describes self-regulatory efforts. The first three steps—problem recognition and appraisal, commitment choice , and extended self-management self-control —are capable of reciprocal influence; the fourth step involves habit reorganization. The model assumes some sort of novel or dramatic change recognized by the actor, which interrupts automatic chains of response or regulation and provokes a shift to "manual control.

Admittedly, models such as this one require considerably more detailed operationalization and evidence of applicability across situations and individuals. Karoly's model is exemplary, however, in its attention to skills that change during development, such as the ability to recognize a behavior management problem and to appreciate the potential value of self-management procedures.

Step two, commitment, is also of particular importance for self-management by children, for the child must prefer self-management over perceived alternatives. The dimensions of perception, understanding, and motivation are often overlooked by researchers, theorists, and clinicians concerned with self-regulation in children. More recently, Karoly in press offered a more finely differentiated specification of the skill components requisite for acquiring and maintaining a repertoire of functional self-regulation responses.

Efforts such as these, refined with regard to developmental differences and to means of utilization e. The framework outlined in the beginning of the chapter suggests a number of variables that may potentially influence the self-system and the social system as well as the resulting processes of self-understanding and self-regulation.

Different social environments may be associated with very different self-concepts. Most obviously perhaps, children may differ in the ratio of social-system to self-system sources of regulation that characterize their behavior. In some environments, children are enthusiastically encouraged to develop means for regulating their own behavior. They are also taught the importance of developing a separate, differentiated, or unique sense of self, and they soon develop strategies for protecting this unique self and for evaluating, monitoring, and presenting it to others.

Children who have not been encouraged to develop autonomous selves may have proportionately more socially regulated reactions as a basis for self-understanding.

Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation.

When children are always surrounded by a similar set of others or have little privacy, it may be unnecessary and perhaps impossible to forge a differentiated sense of self. Some societies encourage the development of a well-differentiated, autonomous self that is forcefully and willfully in control of all the important aspects of individual behavior. This self is also required to be a special or even unique self that is quite different from others, despite the obvious behavioral similarity that is required by the social environment.

Such a view encourages what appears to be two selves—one that is private and one that is manipulated or presented to the public. Individuals are likely to vary, however, in how they meet these requirements. Some people are more aware of their private selves or internal states than others. Researchers have explored differences in self-awareness of internal states under the label of self-consciousness Buss and Scheier, ; Scheier and Carver, Those high in private self-consciousness are very aware of their beliefs, moods, and feelings and are highly reflective.

In contrast, persons high in public self-consciousness are more aware of the self as a social object. They are highly concerned with their appearance and with the impression they are likely to make on others. To date, no investigations of this phenomenon have been conducted with children, but it is likely that marked differences in the self-consciousness of adults have their roots in strategies developed in middle childhood. One could hypothesize, for example, that those highest in public self-consciousness might have been most adept at early regulation of their behavior to meet the behavioral standards of others.

Snyder , studied another aspect of self-awareness, that of self-monitoring. Self-monitoring refers to how much attention and value an individual accords to standards that are suggested by the environmental context. Snyder demonstrated significant differences in the social behavior of high and low self-monitors.

Again, this phenomenon has not been explored specifically with children, but the origins of this individual difference could be examined by combining Snyder's ideas with the extensive theorizing on self-monitoring in the literature on self-regulation. Jones and his colleagues Jones and Berglas, ; Jones and Pittman, studied differences among individuals in the strategies they use to present the self to others. Self-presentation strategies involve individuals shaping their behaviors to create desired impressions of themselves in specific persons within the social environment.

These strategies can be of either a self-enhancing or a self-handicapping nature. They might be aimed at maintaining a particular self-image or at changing one's own or another's image of the self. The ultimate goal is to control others' impressions or attributions of oneself. This sometimes may take maladaptive forms. Research regarding self-handicapping, for example, suggests that some people regulate their behavior by selecting those circumstances for action that are most likely to render performance feedback ambiguous, which protects their private views of themselves from unequivocal negative feedback.

Such stages may have their origins in middle childhood and may be particularly important in explaining scholastic underachievement. Children who are concerned about their own competence but whose view of their competence is uncertain or low may be more likely to deliberately underachieve than are their self-assured peers. The outcome is a less-than-best effort that invites failure but that also provides an attributional ''out'' "I didn't try hard enough" regarding the question of competence. Again, however, both the theoretical and the empirical support undergirding these notions are adult based and devoid of developmental specification.

With respect to potential variation in the nature of the social system, a number of factors have received empirical attention. For the most part, variables that influence the nature of the social environment experienced by the child including social status, gender, family configuration, and child-rearing practices have been analyzed primarily with respect to their influences on self-esteem.

Their influence on all other aspects of the self-concept is yet to be investigated. Researchers who have focused on the relationship between social class and self-concept have been uniformly impressed with the potential for this variable to have a powerful influence on the self. Social class is a critical determinant of experiences and expectations. Social class can moderate the content of one's self-understanding; the nature of one's knowledge about the social world; and the content and nature of the particular rules, standards, and strategies that an individual develops in the course of socialization.

This is due in part to the tendency of children to base their self-concepts on comparisons with others in terms of possessions, skills, and accomplishments. Lower-income children have fewer possessions. They also have less opportunity to develop their abilities Berger, ; are less likely to feel that they are efficacious or have control over their futures Bartel, ; and may be less likely to try hard, thus accomplishing less Maehr, Despite its origin in the social system, the meaning and importance of social class to a child must be assessed from the perspective of the child.

Rosenberg provides one of the most compelling statements of this view:. One cannot understand the significance of a social structural variable for the individual without learning how this variable enters his experiences and is processed within his own phenomenal field. If we hope to appreciate the meaning of social class or, for that matter, the meaning of any social identity element, such as race, gender, or religion for the child, it is essential to see social class from his viewpoint, to adopt the child's eye view of stratification, to understand how it enters his experiences and is internally processed.

To the sociologist, social class means differential prestige, respect, possessions, and power, with obvious self-esteem implications. But from the viewpoint of the child, the matter appears entirely different. Unfortunately, virtually all the research on the effects of social class has been concerned not with the child's view of stratification but almost exclusively with self-esteem. The vast majority of the research has focused on the relationship between academic achievement and self-esteem see Epps and Smith, in this volume. Purkey , for example, has shown a consistent relationship between these two variables as well as a relationship between social class and academic achievement.

In one of the most systematic studies of social class and the self conducted in Baltimore and Chicago , Rosenberg explored the relationship between socioeconomic status and global self-esteem and attempted to see if children actually perceived their social-class standing. No association was found between social class and self-esteem among 8- to year olds, a modest association was found among adolescents, and a somewhat stronger one was seen among adults. The lack of relationship between social status and self-esteem in middle childhood is probably explained by the fact that children at this age are seldom exposed to class-related social experiences, such as occupational discrimination Kohn, Issues surrounding social class may not be as important in middle childhood as they are later in life.

This view holds that children of this age are relatively protected from categorizations and judgments based on social-class standing, particularly if the child grows up in a relatively homogeneous social environment. As Rosenberg pointed out, the individuals in the environment of the school-age child and the ones most likely to affect the child's self-esteem are usually of the same social standing as the child. Under most conditions these individuals do not stress social class in their interactions with the child.

In contrast, the reflected appraisals received by adults position them squarely in social space. What happens when a child's social world includes both a minority and a majority group, thereby increasing the salience of ethnicity and social class for the child? Viewing oneself as different from the majority group could conceivably lead to low self-esteem, especially when the minority group is the object of intense discrimination within the larger society.

This notion was taken as self-evident by early investigators of the problem and received some support Clark, ; Clark and Clark, ; Proshansky and Newton, Yet many recent investigations of the relationship between minority-group status and self-esteem, including a comprehensive review by Wylie , do not support this conclusion. Nonetheless, ethnicity remains a controversial and contested area of research see McCall and Simmons, ; St. John, ; Cohen, Rosenberg , for example, concluded that the self-esteem of blacks will suffer only in those circumstances in which blacks actually use whites as comparison groups.

His study indicates that black students who interacted primarily with whites and compared themselves unfavorably with whites experienced reduced self-esteem. Most black children, however, interact primarily with other black children, and their self-evaluations, based on comparisons with their relevant social group, do not create in them a minority or low-status view of themselves. Research in this area, as in that on the effects of social class, needs to focus on the child's perceptions of his or her social environment and go beyond studies that center on self-esteem. While self-esteem may not be influenced by either ethnicity or social class, it is indeed plausible that these factors will be reflected in the content of self-knowledge and in the nature of children's motives, goals, plans, and strategies.

A number of studies have investigated the relationships between a variety of other aspects of the social system and the content and function of the self-concept during middle childhood but, again, not in any systematic or comprehensive fashion. Little is known, for example, about the relationship between styles of parenting and the nature of self-concept.

The work on understanding contingencies and acquiring behavioral rules stresses the importance of consistency in the behavior of others in the social environment and the clarity with which the goals are modeled or presented Mischel et al. Unpredictability and inconsistency appear to cause some anxiety and confusion in the child, but the mediating links have not been specified. Similarly, poor supervision and parenting have been related to behavior problems in middle childhood. Specifying the relationship between these types of variables and compliance as well as the internalization of behavior standards creates a number of intriguing problems for researchers.

The relationship between other social-system variables, such as gender and family configuration, and self-concept could be further examined. Family configuration birth order, family size, and sex composition provides the child's most meaningful social environment for a substantial period of his or her life. Many aspects of the self-system, particularly those regarding strategies for managing one's own behavior in relationship to others and modes of social comparison, may be influenced by whether one is the first-born or a later-born child or whether one lives in a small or a large family.

Zajonc emphasized the potential importance of family configuration as a social-environmental variable, but he explored it only in relation to intellectual performance. Many of the methodological and measurement issues involved in studying self-understanding and self-regulation have been interwoven throughout our discussion of substantive concerns. In many cases, what appears as deficient and inadequate methodology is a direct function of ill-defined constructs and the lack of a comprehensive theoretical context.

The use of more delimited, more precise constructs is necessary.

The grand theories that have undergirded previous research are no longer sufficient. More integrated and comprehensive theories must clearly define each structure and process in terms of patterns of development. One proposed framework for cognitive development focuses on 1 sequence What is the order in which developments occur? Fischer and Bullock, Efforts to formulate theoretical paradigms that reflect the dynamic interdependence between self-system and social system also would be particularly useful.

Karoly's four-stage model and her more recent efforts in press at further discrimination among the various influences and skill components constituting self-management represent noteworthy examples. A further point follows from one general limitation of many self-concept theories that have stressed the importance of the individual's internal processes while neglecting other objectively measurable variables.

While the effect of environmental factors on cognitive development has received considerable attention, developmental theorists must now specify how these effects contribute to change in the organization of behavior Fischer, We reiterate the case for more innovative study design emphasized throughout this volume. To adequately chart developmental progress, longitudinal designs are useful. This necessitates, among other things, developmental models and measures that are appropriate to the abilities children of different ages possess.

Closely related to this is the need for designs that can better accommodate the dynamic interaction between the self-system and the social system. Admittedly, this is a major dilemma for psychology in general and one that requires considerable ingenuity as well as methodological sophistication. Studies conducted within the natural contexts of middle childhood that more closely approximate the child's natural life experience would be a potentially useful addition to the research.

More detailed methodological suggestions and guidelines can be found in the work of Karoly , which addresses the measurement needs of research on children's self-management, and in research by Wylie , which explores difficulties in assessing self-concept. This chapter reviews the major efforts concerned with the content and function of self-concept in children ages We have combined two previously disparate literatures—one on self-understanding and self-knowledge and one on self-regulation and have tried to demonstrate that the study of what children know about themselves becomes most useful when it is linked with past behavior and perceptions and its role in ongoing and future behavioral regulation.

Conversely, we have stressed that a complete understanding of the processes of behavioral regulation will require an understanding of what children know about themselves—what rules, standards, values, or goals they have for themselves—and how this knowledge is used to control behavior.

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An interweaving of these two areas—self-understanding and self-regulation—will result in a richer, more dynamic, and more interactive formulation of self-concept, one in which self-concept can be analyzed as both a social consequence and as a social force. In outlining the theoretical and empirical work on self-concept, we have emphasized the importance of viewing self-concept as being determined by both individual and social-system needs and goals. At any point in the individual's life, the current self-concept reflects an organization and integration of the salient self-perceptions.

Many of these self-perceptions are determined by the reactions of others. The result is that the content of self-knowledge and the way this knowledge is invoked to regulate behavior are likely to be continually changing as children mature and their social environments change or expand.

In middle childhood the development of self-concept requires that children develop a relatively stable and comprehensive understanding of themselves, that they refine their understanding of how the social world works, that they develop standards and expectations for their own behavior, and that they develop strategies for controlling or managing their behavior.

Changes in the child e. As indicated by our review of the literature on self-understanding, much is known about the content of self-concept. What is missing, however, is a broader perspective on self-understanding, one that includes an examination of children's knowledge of their motives, goals, standards, and strategies for self-regulation. The role of emotional content in self-concept and the relationship between knowledge of affective states and behavioral regulation are also in need of greater specification.

Understanding these additional aspects of self-knowledge will enable us to specify more fully the role of self-concept in the regulation of behavior and to understand how self-concept changes in response to the social environment. With respect to behavioral regulation, a number of theoretical perspectives, many quite similar, attempt to explain how children gain control of their behavior.

These general approaches to self-management have been quite global in their analysis of self-control. More detailed empirical work on particular self-management tasks is clearly needed. Moreover, research on self-management should be more closely tied to the research on self-knowledge. Finally, the research on self-regulation should be expanded beyond studies concerned solely with achievement and performance. Despite some significant gaps, our understanding of the role of the individual in regulating his or her own behavior is considerable compared with our understanding of the role of the social system.

Research that has implicated the social system in behavior has seldom been systematic. In part this is due to the lack of good conceptual models relevant to the problem. From the work of behaviorists and cognitive behaviorists on self-control, we have some knowledge of how minor changes in a very constrained environment influence behavior. With respect to the larger social environment, much less exists.

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Rosenberg's work involving social-class differences is an exception, but it has been confined to self-esteem. In developing better models of social-system influence on behavior, the range of links between cognitive developments in the child and social developments should be extensively explored. For example, it is often asserted that children will not engage in social comparison or self-criticism before they are cognitively able to take the perspective of another. The configuration of the social environment, however, may markedly facilitate or impair this cognitive development.

For example, a child in a family with three other children may be required to take the perspective of another much sooner than an only child. In general, the social environment should not be construed as a monolithic external factor that impinges on a fairly stable self. Instead it can be more productively viewed as shaping or creating the social self and, in turn, as being structured by the individual. More models of the mutual and reciprocal influences between the self-system and the social system should provide an understanding of how coregulation between the two systems is achieved and of how individuals become members of society or social beings.

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While we have some understanding of how the school-age child gains a coherent and stable view of self, we know much less about how the child gains social knowledge and develops interpersonal standards and individual strategies for the control of behavior. Above all, we have stressed in this chapter the need to locate children within their broader social contexts regardless of the particular phenomenon being analyzed and the value of studying self-concept in relation to the regulation of behavior. Quite simply, our review suggests that the nature or content of self-concept should not be studied apart from its social origins or its specific behavioral functions for the individual.

Turn recording back on. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Search term. Hazel J. Markus and Paula S. Nurius Theoretical work in both psychology and sociology accords self-concept a critical role in organizing past behavior and in directing future behavior. Self-Concept Tasks Of Middle Childhood As children enter middle childhood and strive to become members of society, they are faced with a number of social tasks or problems. Research On Self-Understanding Self-Description: From Concrete To Abstract Virtually all of the empirical work on the development of self-understanding has examined children's self-descriptions to determine what they reveal about the self as an object of thought.

Beyond Self-Description Some research using methods other than simple self-descriptions suggests that school-age children may have a much more elaborate and extensive system of self-knowledge than has typically been assumed. The Self-Concept In Information Processing There is consensus in most of the recent research on self-understanding that self-concept is not a unitary, monolithic structure but is a multifaceted phenomenon, some aspects of which are continually changing.

Research On Self-Regulation Self-regulation can best be described as a set of components e. Implications From Ego Psychology With respect to self-management skills and motives, the psychodynamic model focuses on the internal drives and familial influences involved in adaptation, self-preservation, and mastery as well as on the conflicts and complications involved with each. Social Learning Theory And Self-Management While ego-control theorists view self-control as a stable dispositional personality characteristic, social learning theorists focus on the discriminative, situationally specific qualities of self-control.

Component Models Of Self-Regulation Component models of self-regulation specify the processes that trigger self-regulation and the sequence in which they occur. The Need For Integrative And Developmental Perspectives Research on self-management has been characterized by a diversity of theoretical approaches. Moderating Variables: Self-System And Social System The framework outlined in the beginning of the chapter suggests a number of variables that may potentially influence the self-system and the social system as well as the resulting processes of self-understanding and self-regulation.

Variation In The Self-System Some societies encourage the development of a well-differentiated, autonomous self that is forcefully and willfully in control of all the important aspects of individual behavior. Self-Awareness Some people are more aware of their private selves or internal states than others. Self-Presentation Jones and his colleagues Jones and Berglas, ; Jones and Pittman, studied differences among individuals in the strategies they use to present the self to others. Variations In The Social System With respect to potential variation in the nature of the social system, a number of factors have received empirical attention.

Social Class Researchers who have focused on the relationship between social class and self-concept have been uniformly impressed with the potential for this variable to have a powerful influence on the self. Rosenberg provides one of the most compelling statements of this view: One cannot understand the significance of a social structural variable for the individual without learning how this variable enters his experiences and is processed within his own phenomenal field.

Ethnicity What happens when a child's social world includes both a minority and a majority group, thereby increasing the salience of ethnicity and social class for the child? Other Social System Variables A number of studies have investigated the relationships between a variety of other aspects of the social system and the content and function of the self-concept during middle childhood but, again, not in any systematic or comprehensive fashion.

Methodology Many of the methodological and measurement issues involved in studying self-understanding and self-regulation have been interwoven throughout our discussion of substantive concerns. Conclusion This chapter reviews the major efforts concerned with the content and function of self-concept in children ages References Adler, A. The Practice and Theory. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World. Aronfreed, J. New York: Academic Press.

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