Multiple intelligences

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For this assignment, you will complete an assessment that provides you with your strongest intelligences and will then answer questions about the results. Please follow the instructions carefully.

1. Read about the 9 different intelligences in the text. Then, pick which 3 you feel are the ones in which you are the strongest. Identify those 3 and then explain why you picked each.

2. Complete the following assessment online. (Links to an external site.)

3. List the 3 strongest intelligences the assessment identified for you. 

4. Do you think these are accurate? Were they different than what you picked? How did you feel about the responses the assessment identified for you?

5. Based on the results provided by the assessment, do you feel as if you are on a path of learning that coincides with the intelligences that are strongest for you? Why or why not?

6. Based on the intelligences provided, what can you add to your life that might provide support for developing these for yourself?

Middle Childhood:
Body and Mind

chapter seven

Invitation to the Life Span

Kathleen Stassen Berger | Fourth edition


Middle Childhood

Middle childhood

Period between early childhood and early adolescence, approximately from ages 6 to 11

Safeguarded by genetic and environmental factors

Evolutionary perspective

Genes protect children who have already survived the hazards of birth and early childhood

A Healthy Time (part 1)

Lower death rates


Less lethal accidents and fatal illnesses

Fewer chronic conditions

Better diagnostic and preventive medical care

Less secondhand smoke

Better health habits

Specialized programs

Improved oral health

Rates continue to rise with age, up to 13,674 for those aged 85 and older, so this figure cannot portray the entire life span. Details are remarkable as well. Not only are fatal diseases rare, thanks to immunization, but accidents and homicide also dip during middle childhood — and rise rapidly thereafter.


A Healthy Time (part 2)

Growth and healthy habits

Average child gains about 2 inches and 5 pounds per year.

Maintenance of good health related to adult instruction and regular medical care.

Camps for children with special health needs are beneficial.

A Healthy Time (part 3)

Physical activity

Benefits of physical activity can last a lifetime.

Advances in physical, emotional, and mental health

Academic achievement improvement


Harm from sports

Brain injury and other impact-related injury

Better cerebral blood flow and more neurotransmitters

Better mood and energy

Embodied cognition aided


A Healthy Time (part 4)

Need for movement

Indoor activities often replace outdoor play.

Economic barriers and disabilities may limit participation in league, club and other after school activities.

When academic instruction replaces physical education; less physical activity may cause less learning.

Modern life challenges neighborhood play.

Time for school physical activities and recess is reduced in many schools


A Healthy Time (part 5)

Brain development

With physical activity

Cerebral blood flow and neurotransmitters and better moods

Embedded cognition

Connection between body movement and thinking

A Healthy Time (part 6)

Health problems: Childhood obesity

Paying attention

Neurological advances allow children to pay special notice to most important environmental elements

Executive control

Selective attention

Reaction time

Improves with physical play and maturation

Reaction time: Time it takes to respond to a stimulus, either physically ( thought).


A Healthy Time (part 7)

Health problems: Childhood obesity

Many 6- to 11-year-olds eat too much, exercise too little, and become overweight or obese as a result.

18 percent of U.S. 6- to 11-year-olds were obese.

Excessive weight contributes to future health risk increases, average achievement decreases, self-esteem failures, and loneliness.

Since 2000, U.S. rates have leveled off, even declining in preschool children, but increases continue in most other nations, including the most populous two, China and India.


A Healthy Time (part 8)

Health problems: Childhood obesity

Recent, dramatic increases found in developing nations as food becomes more plentiful; parents no longer worry that their children might starve.

Childhood overweight correlates with asthma, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and loneliness.

As weight builds, school achievement decreases, self-esteem falls, and loneliness rises.

A Healthy Time (part 9)

Health problems: Childhood obesity

Genetic influences

Dozen of genes affect weight by influencing activity level, hunger, food preference, body type, and metabolism.

Social context is crucial.

Parenting practices linked to obesity

Infants—No breast feeding and solid foods before 4 months

Preschoolers—Bedroom TV watching and soda consumption

Schoolagers—Insufficient sleep, extensive screen time, little active play

Ads and Obesity

Nations differ in children’s exposure to televised ads for unhealthy food.

The amount of this advertising continues to correlate with childhood obesity (e.g., Hewer, 2014). Parents can reduce overweight by limiting screen time and playing outside with their children. The community matters as well: When neighborhoods have no safe places to play, rates of obesity soar.


Differences in Prevalence of Obesity

Figure 7.1


Health Problems: Asthma




Signs and symptoms

Hygiene hypothesis

In some city schools, asthma is so common that using an inhaler is a sign of pride, as suggested by the facial expressions of these two boys.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways that makes breathing difficult.

Sufferers have periodic attacks, sometimes rushing to the hospital emergency room.

In the U.S., childhood asthma rates have tripled since 1980 (see Figure 7.2). U.S. parents report that 15 percent of their 5- to 11-year-olds have been diagnosed with asthma at some time, and almost 11 percent still suffer from it (National Center for Health Statistics, 2014).


Cognition (part 1)

Piaget and middle childhood

Concrete operational thought

Piaget’s term for the ability to reason logically about direct experiences and perceptions.


Logical principle that things can be organized into groups (or categories or classes) according to some characteristic they have in common.


Things can be arranged in a series. Seriation is crucial for understanding the number sequence and logical series.

In middle childhood, children develop the ability to use mental categories and subcategories flexibly, inductively, and simultaneously.

By age 11, children use mental categories and subcategories flexibly, inductively, and simultaneously, unlike at age 7.


Inside the Brain
Coordination and Capacity

Piaget recognized that connections allow logical ideas to be applied to many specifics.

Today brain scans can demonstrate maturation and classification proposed by Piaget.

Hubs, especially near corpus callosum; damage and brain dysfunctions

Links between hypothalamus and amygdala; stress and early maltreatment

Neurological pathways from general to particular and back again; maturation

Cognition (part 2)

Vygotsky and culture

Education occurs everywhere and knowledge is acquired from social context.

Instruction is essential.

Guiding each child using scaffolding through the zone of proximal development is crucial.

Language is integral as a mediator, a vehicle for understanding and learning.


Cognition (part 3)


Play with peers, screen time, dinner with families, neighborhood play — every experience, from birth on, teaches a child

Girls Can’t Do It

As Vygotsky recognized, children learn whatever their culture teaches. Fifty years ago, girls were in cooking and sewing classes. No longer. This 2012 photo shows 10-year-olds Kamrin and Caitlin in a Kentucky school, preparing for a future quite different from that of their grandmothers.


Cognition (part 4)

Information-processing perspective

Compares human thinking processes, by analogy, to computer analysis of data, looking at sensory input, connections, stored memories, and output.

Select relevant units of information

Analyze and connect

Express conclusions in understanding ways

Supports the notion that brain connections and pathways are forged from repeated experiences in day-to-day learning

Cognition (part 5)

Children’s cognition in math

Children do not suddenly grasp the logic of number system (Piaget).

Math knowledge accrues gradually (Siegler).

Some early math achievements (i.e., counting) do not correlate with later math achievements (information-processing theory).

Information Processing and the Brain
(part 1)

Extensive knowledge base makes it easier to master new, related information.

Factors influencing knowledge base


Current opportunity

Personal motivation

Control processes

Emotional regulation

Selective attention

What this child sees is dependent on her knowledge base and personal experiences.


Information Processing and the Brain
(part 2)

Control processes (Executive processes)

Involve neurological mechanisms that combine memory, processing speed, and knowledge base

Require brain to organize, prioritize, and direct mental operations

Develop spontaneously with prefrontal cortex maturation but still Influenced by maturation and experience

Control processes allow a person to step back from the specifics to consider more general goals and cognitive strategies


Information Processing and the Brain
(part 3)

Cognitive control



Executive functions

Ability to use executive processes


Cognition (part 6)


Every aspect of language — vocabulary, comprehension, communication skill, and code-switching — advances each year from age 6 to 11.


Understanding of prefixes, suffixes, compound words, phrases, and metaphors builds.

Cognition (part 7)

Language context adjustment


Ability to use words and devices to communicate in various contexts

Allow children to change formal, informal, and linguistic codes to fit audience


Cognition (part 8)

Bilingual education

Strategy in which school subjects are taught in both the learner’s original language and the second (majority) language

ELLs (English Language Learners)

ESLs (English as a Second Language)


Bilingual education: A strategy in which school subjects are taught in both the learner’s original language and the second (majority) language

ELLs (English Language Learners): Children in the U.S. whose proficiency in English is low—usually below a cutoff score on an oral or written test. Many children who speak a non-English language at home are also capable in English; they are not ELLs.

Immersion: A strategy in which instruction in all school subjects occurs in the second (usually the majority) language that a child is learning.

ESL (English as a second language): An approach to teaching English in which all children who do not speak English are placed together in an intensive course to learn basic English so that they can be educated with native English speakers.


Bilingual Education

More children in the United States are now bilingual and more of them speak English well, from about 40 percent of the bilingual children in 1980 to 82 percent in 2011.

Hurray for Teachers? More children in the U.S. are bilingual and most of them now speak English well, growing from about 40 percent in 1980 to 82 percent in 2011.

In the U.S., almost 1 school-age child in 4 speaks a language other than English at home.


Cognition (part 9)

Poverty and language

SES affects cognitive development.

Poor and slower language mastery

Smaller vocabularies and impaired grammar than those from higher-SES families

School learning slowdown in every subject

SES affects brain development.

Hippocampus development impact

Less language heard early in life


Teaching and Learning

Hidden curriculum

Unofficial, unstated, or implicit patterns within a school that influence what children learn; not formally prescribed, but instructive to the children

Physical surroundings

Teacher ethnicity

Teacher expectations

Hidden curriculum—The unofficial, unstated, or implicit rules and priorities that influence the academic curriculum and every other aspect of learning in a school.

Variation is greater in hidden curriculum

Course offerings

Schedules and tracking

Teacher characteristics

Discipline and teaching methods

Sports competition

Extracurricular activities

Student government

Physical setting

Literacy and numeracy: Valued everywhere

Geography, music, and art: Not essential in all places


Learning in School

International testing

International Achievement Test Scores

Trends in Math and Science Study (TIMSS)

Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)

Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)

See Tables 7-1 and 7-2 for additional information

Although the TIMSS is very useful, different countries’ scores are not always comparable because sample selection, test administration, and content validity are hard to keep uniform.

Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)

Inaugurated in 2001, a planned five-year cycle of international trend studies in the reading ability of fourth-graders

Found gender difference

Trends in Math and Science Study (TIMSS)

International assessment of the math and science skills of fourth- and eighth-graders

Higher achievement related to teacher education, autonomy within classroom, buildings designed to foster collaboration (Finnish study)

Found gender differences

Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)

Measures the ability to apply learning to everyday issues. East Asian nations always rank high, and scores of more than a dozen nations (some in Europe, most in Asia) surpassed the United States


Lifelong Learning

Shown here are PISA scores for 15-year-olds. Finland is among the highest-scoring nations, and the United States is middling (just slightly below the overall average).

Thirty nations are below the United States and 30 nations are higher.

For comparison, this graph also shows the highest-scoring (Singapore) and lowest scoring (Dominican Republic) nations.

Finnish elementary school students do not score much better or worse than their United States peers on the TIMSS or PIRLS, but educators in Finland do not believe that tests

in childhood are the best measure of learning. Instead they prefer to focus on using knowledge later on, as measured by a test further described in Chapter 15 , the PISA.


Teaching and Learning (part 1)

International schooling has marked national, ethnic, and economic differences.

Creating equally valid questions for everyone is impossible.

Cultures differ in what they value.

Educational practices differ within and across cultures.

Variation is greater in hidden curriculum.

Elaborate and extensive measures are in place to make the PIRLS, TIMSS, and PISA valid. Test items are designed to be fair and culture-free, and participating children represent the diversity (economic, ethnic, etc.) of each nation’s child population. Thousands of experts work to ensure validity and reliability. Consequently, most social scientists respect the data gathered from these tests.


Teaching and Learning (part 2)

Gender differences in school performances

PIRLS: Girls ahead of boys in reading in every nation.

TIMSS: Gender differences among fourth-grader math have narrowed or disappeared.

Girls have higher report card grades, including math and science.

What accounts for this finding?
How do you know?


Teaching and Learning (part 3)

Schooling in the U.S.

Increases in international tests scores

Largest disparities between incomes and ethnic group test scores

National Standards

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

An ongoing and nationally representative measure of U.S. children’s achievement in reading, mathematics, and other subjects over time; nicknamed “the Nation’s Report Card.”

Disparities between national and state scores; Latino and African and European American 4th grade reading and math scores; high school graduation

What are the causes of these disparities?

Teaching and Learning (part 4)

Issues within U.S. education today

Should public schools be well-supported by public funds?

Should tuition vouchers be given for private schools?

Should more charter schools open or close?

Does home schooling meet children’s needs?

Should public schools be free of religion?

Should the arts be part of the curriculum?

Should children learn a second language in primary school?

Can computers advance education?

Are there too many students in each class?

Should teachers nurture soft skills as part of the curriculum?

Who decides how these questions will be answered?

Children with Special Brains and Bodies (part 1)

Developmental psychopathology links usual with unusual development, especially when the unusual results in special needs.

Four general principles

Abnormality is normal.

Disability changes year by year.

Life may get better or worse.

Diagnosis and treatment reflect the social context.

Children with Special Brains and Bodies (part 2)

Measuring the mind


Achievement tests

Multiple intelligences

IQ tests


IQ of 100 was exactly average, because when mental age was the same as chronological age

Flynn effect

Aptitude: The potential to master a specific skill or to learn a certain body of knowledge

Achievement test: A measure of mastery or proficiency in reading, mathematics, writing, science, or some other subject.

Multiple intelligences: The idea that human intelligence is comprised of a varied set of abilities rather than a single, all-encompassing one


Children with Special Brains and Bodies (part 3)

Multiple intelligences: Gardner

Seven intelligences: linguistic, logical mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic, and existential

Eighth (naturalistic) and ninth (spiritual/existential) added later

Each associated with a region of the brain

In education: Gardner

Schools often are too narrow, teaching only some aspects of intelligence and thus stunting children’s learning

Schools, cultures, and families dampen or expand particular



Children with Special Brains and Bodies (part 4)

Neuroscientists and psychologists agree on four generalities

Brain development depends on experiences.

Dendrites form and myelination changes throughout life.

Children with disorders often have unusual brain patterns, and training may change those patterns.

Each brain functions in a particular way (neurodiversity).

Scanning the brain

Brain scans are not accurate in diagnosing cognitive disorders in childhood


Children with Special Brains and Bodies (part 5)

Special needs in middle childhood

Two basic principles of developmental psychopathology complicate diagnosis and treatment.



Some suggest that childhood psychopathology was under-diagnosed in early DSM editions and over-diagnosed in DSM-5.

Multifinality: One cause can have many (multiple) final manifestations.

Equifinality: One symptom can have many causes.

Comorbidity: Presence of two or more disease conditions at the same time can occur in the same person.

As a reference, we use DSM-5 (the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013). The DSM-5 is only one set of criteria — the World Health Organization has another (ICD-11), some experts are using a third (RDoC) for research, and psychiatrists are already discussing DSM-6


Children with Special Brains and Bodies (part 6)

Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Potential problems in three areas

Inattention, impulsiveness, and activity

No biological marker; some suggestion of relationship with brain regulation: often comorbid

DSM-5 recognizes learning disorders

Dyslexia (reading)

Dyscalculia (math)

Dysgraphia (penmanship)

Increasing incidence concerns


Drug abuse

Normal behavior considered pathological


Children with Special Brains and Bodies (part 7)

Specific learning disorder

Marked deficit in a particular area of learning that is not caused by an apparent physical disability or by an unusually stressful home environment


Unusual difficulty with reading; thought to be the result of some neurological underdevelopment


Unusual difficulty with math, probably originating from a distinct part of the brain

The DSM-5 diagnosis of specific learning disorder now includes disabilities in both perception and processing of information, evident in unexpected low achievement in reading, math, or writing (including spelling). Children with specific learning disorders have difficulty mastering skills that most children acquire easily.

Those large prism glasses keep the letters from jumping around on the page, a boon for this 8-year-old French boy. Unfortunately, each child with dyslexia needs individualized treatment: These glasses help some, but not most, children who find reading difficult


Children with Special Brains and Bodies (part 8)

Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)

Any of several disorders characterized by poor social understanding, impaired language, and unusual patterns of play

Cause and treatment disputed

Equifinality applies

Most diagnosis at age 4 or later

Gender and ethnic differences in rates

Three categories: Mild, moderate, severe

Equifinality certainly applies to ASD: A child can have symptoms for many reasons; no single gene causes the disorder. That makes treatment difficult; an intervention that helps one child is worthless for another.

It is known that biology is crucial (genes, copy number abnormalities, birth complications, prenatal injury, perhaps chemicals during fetal or infant development) and that family nurture does not cause ASD but may modify it.

Social and language engagement of the child early in life seems the most promising treatment.


Children with Special Brains and Bodies (part 9)

Special education

Labels, laws, and learning

1975 Education of All Handicapped Children Act

Inclusion class; general classroom (LRE)

Appropriate aids and services

Other strategies

Response to intervention (RTI)

Individual education plans (IEP)

Children with Special Brains and Bodies (part 10)

Nature or Nurture

Communities have always had some children with special needs, with physical, emotional, and neurological disorders of many kinds. In some eras, and even today in

some nations, the education of such children was neglected. Indeed, many children were excluded from normal life. Now in the United States every child is entitled to school. As you see, the specific label for such children has changed over the past decades, because of nurture, not nature. Thus teratogens before and after birth,

coupled with changing parental and community practice, probably caused the rise in autism spectrum disorder and developmental delay, the decrease in intellectual disability, and the fluctuation in learning disorders apparent here.


Children with Special Brains and Bodies (part 11)

Gifted and talented

High-IQ, unusually talented, and unusually creative children may require special education.

Needs of unusually gifted children not covered by U.S. federal laws.

Each state selects and implements own system.

Controversy about which system to use


Middle Childhood:
The Social World

chapter eight

Invitation to the Life Span

Kathleen Stassen Berger | Fourth edition


The Nature of the Child (part 1)

Drive for independence from parents expands the social world.

Learn to care for themselves

Learn from each other

The Nature of the Child (part 2)

Erikson’s insights

Industry versus inferiority

Fourth of Erikson’s eight psychosocial crises

Characterized by tension between productivity and incompetence


Attempt to master culturally valued skills and develop a sense of themselves as either industrious or inferior, competent or incompetent.

Signs of Psychosocial Maturation over the Years of Middle Childhood

Responsibly perform specific chores

Manage a weekly allowance and activities

Complete homework

Attempt to conform to peers

Express preferences for after-school hours

Accept some responsibility for pets, younger children

Strive for independence from parents

See chart on page 283 for additional information.


The Nature of the Child (part 3)

Parental reactions

Shift from care provision to engagement in dialogue, discussion, and shared activities.

Various levels of release from parental supervision and provision of more autonomy

Decrease in time with parents; increase in time alone and with parents


The Nature of the Child (part 4)


Development of more specific and logical ideas about personal intelligence, personality abilities, gender, and ethnic background

Measurement of self to others in relation to own abilities, social status, and other attributes

Formulation of a more reality-grounded view of self; rise in self-criticism and self-consciousness

The Nature of the Child (part 5)

Children who affirm pride in their gender and ethnicity are likely to develop healthy self- esteem.

Some face social prejudice related to their minority or religious group membership.

Developing a sense of pride is more effective for self- confidence than directly preparing children for prejudice.

The Nature of the Child (part 6)

Culture and self-esteem

Cultures and families differ in which attitudes and accomplishments they value.

Emerging self-perception benefits academic and social competence.

Praise for process—not static qualities—encourages growth.

Notice and value of material possessions increases

Same Situation, Far Apart: Play Ball


The Nature of the Child (part 7)


Capacity to adapt well to significant adversity and to overcome serious stress

Important components

Resilience is dynamic, not a stable trait.

Resilience is a positive adaptation to stress.

Adversity must be significant.

See Table 8.1 for dominant ideas about resilience from 1965 to present day.

Resilience is dynamic – a person may be resilient at some periods but not at others.

Resilience is a positive adaptation to stress – if rejection by a parent leads a child to establish a closer relationship with another adult, that child is resilient.

Adversity must be significant – Resilient children overcome conditions that overwhelm many of their peers.

Accumulated stresses over time, including minor ones, are more devastating than an isolated major stress.


The Nature of the Child (part 8)

Cumulative stress

Stress accumulates over time.

Daily hassles can be more detrimental than isolated major stress.

Social context is imperative.

Child soldiers

Homeless children

Separation after natural disaster

Cognitive Coping

Cognitive coping: Factors contributing to resilience

Child’s interpretation of events

Support of family and community

Personal strengths such as creativity and intelligence

Avoidance of parentification

Child’s interpretation of a family situation (poverty, divorce, etc.) impacts how that situation affects him or her.

Parentification: When a child acts more like a parent than a child. This may occur if the actual parents do not act as caregivers, making a child feel responsible for the family.


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 1)

Shared and nonshared environments

Most personality traits and intellectual characteristics traced to genes and nonshared environment

Influence of shared environment shrinks with age.

Effect of nonshared environment increases.


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 2)


Recent findings reassert parent power.

Children raised in the same households by the same parents do not necessarily share the same home environment.

Changes in the family affect every family member differently, depending on age and/or gender.

Most parents respond to each of their children differently.

Families During Middle Childhood
(part 3)

Family structure

Legal and genetic relationships among relatives living in the same home, includes nuclear family, extended family, stepfamily, and others.

Genetic connections

Legal connections


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 4)

Family function

The way a family works to meet the needs of its members

Function is more important than structure, but harder to measure.

During middle childhood, families help children by

Providing basic material necessities.

Encouraging learning.

Helping them develop self-respect.

Nurturing friendships.

Fostering harmony and stability.


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 5)

Needs of children in middle childhood

Physical necessities



Peer relationships

Harmony and stability

Families During Middle Childhood
(part 6)

Family function is more important than structure.

Children value safety and stability.

Stability is difficult in military families. Caregivers are discouraged from making changes.

Children displaced because of storms, fire, war may suffer psychologically.


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 7)

Various family structures

Two-Parent Families

Nuclear family

Stepparent family

Adoptive family

Grandparents alone

Two same-sex parents

Nuclear family: A family that consists of a father, a mother, and their biological children under age 18


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 8)

Various family structures

Single-Parent Families

Single mother or father (never married)

Single mother or father (divorced, separated, or widowed)

Grandparent alone

More Than Two Adults

Extended family

Polygamous family

Single-parent family: A family that consists of only one parent and his or her children

Extended family: A family of three or more generations living in one household

Polygamous family: A family consisting of one man, more than one wife, and their children


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 9)

Cohort changes

More single- parent households, more divorces and remarriages, and fewer children per family than in the past

Proportions differ, but problems within non- nuclear families are similar worldwide

U.S. has more single parents than other developed nations, yet almost two- thirds of all U.S. school- age children live with two parents

Possible Problems

As the text makes clear, structure does not determine function, but raising children is more difficult as a single parent, in part because income is lower. African American families have at least one asset, however. They are more likely to have grandparents who are actively helping with child care.


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 10)

Family changes

Only one parent and his or her children under age 18

31 percent of all U.S. school-age children; rates of structure changes depend on age of child

More than half of U.S. children in a single-parent home for at least a year

Have children who fare worse in school and in adult life than most other children.

Are often low-income and unstable, move more often and add new adults more often in single-mother households


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 11)

Two-parent family

Work best on average; children learn better in school; few psychological problems

Education, earning potential, and emotional maturity increase the rate of marriage and parenthood and decrease the rate of divorce.

Major predictor of their children’s well- being was not the parents’ sexual orientation but their income and stability; contact increases affection and care

Shared parenting decreases child maltreatment risk

Didn’t Want to Marry

This couple was happily cohabiting and strongly committed to each other but didn’t wed until they learned that her health insurance would not cover them unless they were legally married. Twenty months after marriage, their son was born.

For all children, having two parents around every day makes it more likely that someone will read to them, check their homework, invite their friends over, buy them new clothes, and save for their education. Of course, having two married parents does not guarantee good care


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 12)

Single fathers and stepfathers

Generally, fathers who do not live with their children become less involved every year.

Single-parent fathers experience same problems as single mothers.

Remarried adults tend to spend less on step-children; sometimes reject them; change residence; disrupt harmony and stability.

Step-children may experience constellation shifts, differential discipline strategies, anger, sadness or destructive behaviors


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 13)

Single families in cultural context

On average, single-parent structure functions less well — generalities

Less income, time, stability

Emotional and academic support reduction

Culture is always influential.


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 14)

Extended family

Family consisting of parents, their children, and other relatives living in one household

10 percent of U.S. school-age children

Family type distinction based on who lives in same household

Opposing Perspectives
Why is this an “opposing perspective?”

Aren’t extended families always great?

It depends on intergenerational attitudes and income.

Multiple generation habitation is often accompanied by stress on all members.

Potential for family conflict is evident worldwide.

Extended families are often poor and conflicted, the two conditions known to harm children no matter what the family structure

Every family structure is sometimes good and sometimes not.


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 15)

Family trouble

Two factors increase the likelihood of dysfunction in every structure, ethnic group, and nation.

Low income or poverty

High conflict

Many families experience both!

Families During Middle Childhood
(part 16)

Poverty: Family-stress model

Any risk factor damages a family only if it increases the stress on that family.

Adults’ stressful reaction to poverty is crucial in determining the effect on the children.


Generally more income correlates with better family functioning.

Score gap between schools with high- and low- income children

is larger in the United States than in other nations.

Reaction to wealth may cause difficulty; parental reaction is key.

Effects of poverty are cumulative.

Both family function and family structure are affected by poverty.


Families During Middle Childhood
(part 17)


Family conflict harms children, especially when adults fight about child rearing.

Fights are more common in stepfamilies, divorced families, and extended families.

Although genes have some effect, conflict itself is often the main influence on the child’s well-being.

Researchers found that, although genes had some influence, witnessing conflict was crucial, causing externalizing problems in boys and internalizing problems in girls.

Quiet disagreements did little harm, but open conflict (such as yelling when children could hear) and divorce did.


Families and Schools

This graph shows the score gap in fourth- grade science on the 2015 TIMSS between children in schools where more than 25 percent of the children are from affluent homes compared to children in schools where more than 25 percent are poor. Generally, the nations with the largest gaps are also the nations with the most schools at one or the other end of the spectrum and fewest in between. For example, 23 percent of the children in the United States attended schools that were neither rich nor poor, but 37 of the Japanese children did.


The Peer Group (part 1)

Culture of children

Each group of children has games, sayings, clothing styles, and superstitions that are not common among adults, just as every culture has distinct values, behaviors, and beliefs.

Customs, rules, rituals


Independence from adults

No Toys

Boys in middle childhood are happiest playing outside with equipment designed for work. This wheelbarrow is perfect, especially because at any moment the pusher might tip it.


The Peer Group (part 2)


School-age children value personal friendship more than peer acceptance.

Intense and intimate friendships improve with advances in social cognition and effortful control.

By the end of middle childhood, close friendships are almost always between children of the same sex, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

Boys: Better at joint excitement

Girls: Sympathetic reassurance

Children help each other learn academic and social skills and feel happier when they have friends.


The Peer Group (part 3)

Popular and unpopular children

Particular qualities that make a child liked or disliked depend on culture, cohort, and sometimes the local region or school.

Popular children in U.S.

Friendly and cooperative



The Peer Group (part 4)

Unpopular children in the U.S.

Neglected, not rejected children

Neglected by peers, but not actively rejected

Do not enjoy school; but psychologically unharmed

Aggressive-rejected children

Disliked by peers because of antagonistic, confrontational behavior; may become bully-victims

Withdrawn-rejected children

Disliked by peers because of their timid, withdrawn, and anxious behavior

The Peer Group (part 5)


Repeated, systematic efforts to inflict harm through on a weaker person

Who Suffers More?

Physical bullying is typically the target of antibullying laws and policies, because it is easier to spot than relational bullying. But being rejected from the group, especially with gossip and lies, may be more devastating to the victim and harder to stop. It may be easier for the boy to overcome victimization than for the girl.


The Peer Group (part 6)

Types of bullying

Physical (hitting, pinching, or kicking)

Verbal (teasing, taunting, or name-calling)

Relational (destroying peer acceptance and friendship)

Cyberbullying (using electronic means to harm another)

The Peer Group (part 7)


Victims of bullying endure repeated shameful experiences with no defense.

They tend to be cautious, sensitive, quiet, and friendless.

Providing psychological defense against loss of self-respect is crucial.

Selection for bullying is based on emotional vulnerability and social isolation, not appearance.

In pervasive bullying, almost any trait can develop into an excuse to exclude and harass a vulnerable child.

The Peer Group (part 8)


Popular, proud, socially dominant

Increasingly skilled at avoiding adult awareness, picking victims, and using nonphysical methods to avoid adult punishment

Boys typically attack smaller, weaker boys; girls use words and relational aggression to demean shyer girls.

Gay boys become targets, especially at end of middle childhood.

The Peer Group (part 9)

Causes of bullying

Early childhood: Chaotic home life, ineffectual discipline, hostile siblings, insecure attachment

Middle childhood: Attempt to gain status and power

Consequences of bullying

Serious psychological disorders by age 18

Impaired social understanding, lower school achievement, relationship difficulties, higher adult mental illness rates

The Peer Group (part 10)

Successful efforts to eliminate bullying

Personally finding ways to halt ongoing bullying by ignoring, retaliating, defusing, or avoiding

Involving the whole school, not just the identified bullies (Convivencia)

Engaging bystanders

Encouraging multicultural sensitivity

The Peer Group (part 11)

Children’s morality

Children show a variety of skills

Making moral judgments.

Differentiating universal principles from conventional norms.

Influences on moral development in middle childhood

Peer culture

Personal experience


The Peer Group (part 12)

Moral rules of child culture

Children align themselves with peers when adult morality clashes with child culture

Three moral imperatives of child culture in middle childhood

Defend your friends.

Don’t tell adults about children’s misbehavior.

Conform to peer standards of dress, talk, and behavior

The Peer Group (part 13)


Empathy is understanding of the basic humanity of other people.

School-age children can think and act morally, but do not always do so due to hidden curriculum or adult values.

The Peer Group (part 14)

Kohlberg’s levels of moral thought

Stages of morality stem from three levels of moral reasoning with two stages at each level

Preconventional moral reasoning

Conventional moral reasoning

Postconventional moral reasoning

See Table 8.3 for additional informtion about Kohlberg’s Three Levels and Six Stages of Moral Reasonng.

Kohlberg judged moral development not by the answers but by the reasons for the answers.

Preconventional moral reasoning: Emphasizes rewards and punishments

Conventional moral reasoning: Emphasizes social rules

Postconventional moral reasoning: Emphasizes moral principles


The Peer Group (part 15)

Criticisms of Kohlberg


Child’s use of intellectual abilities to justify moral actions was correct.


Culture and gender difference ignored.

Exclusive boy sample

Differences between child and adult morality not addressed.

Rational principles values more than individual needs

Kohlberg’s levels could be labeled personal (preconventional), communal (conventional), and worldwide (postconventional)


Sharing What Is Mine

Sharing What Is Mine

Children chose ten stickers for themselves and then were asked to voluntarily and privately give some to an another child, whom they did not see or know. Some children — especially the

younger ones, were quite stingy, giving only a few away, and some, especially the older ones, were quite generous, giving away more than half. Generosity was measured by how many of the ten stickers were donated. In every nation, as children grew older they became more generous. It also was apparent that national wealth had a greater impact than ideology: Children were more generous in the richer nations (Canada, United States, and China) than in the poorer ones (Turkey and South Africa


The Peer Group (part 16)

Teaching morality

Once children understand moral equity, they may be more ethical than adults

Morality can be scaffolded with mentors using moral dilemmas to advance moral understanding, empathy, and moral regulation.

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