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Children's Personality Development Mirtha Insfrán August, 2008
The following issues will be discussed: <ul><li>Personality – Definition </li></ul><ul><li>Theories of Personality </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Personality Development </li></ul><ul><li>The Process of Becoming </li></ul><ul><li>Negative Roadblocks </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitating Personality Growth </li></ul>
Can you say what type of personalities these characters have?
Personality - Definition <ul><li>Personality is a certain consistency in a person's behavior that remains fairly stable under varying conditions (Dworetzky, 1997) </li></ul><ul><li>To a psychologist, the word personality refers to the whole person, not just to a part. Personality encompasses intelligence, motivation, emotion, learning, abnormality, cognition, and even social interactions. </li></ul>
Theories of Personality <ul><li>The Omnipotent Mother: When psychologists first turned their attention to childhood, they stressed the crucial importance of the mother, who, they believed, created the child's personality through her manner of child-rearing. In their view, the infant was a passive, particularly vulnerable recipient of the mother's ministrations, shaped almost entirely by the mother's powerful influence. </li></ul><ul><li>Type Theory (Hippocrates, Sheldon): personality was classified according to types. </li></ul><ul><li>Sheldon found a moderate correlation between physique (body type) and personality. Some researchers have argued that physique and personality may be correlated simply because of the kinds of experiences different people have. </li></ul><ul><li>There are three types of physique: endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph. </li></ul>
Personalities Corresponding to Sheldon's Body Types <ul><li>Ectomorphic Cerebrotonic: restrained, fearful, introversive, artistic. </li></ul><ul><li>Mesomorphic Somatotonic: energetic, assertive, courageous. </li></ul><ul><li>Endomorphic Visoerotonic: relaxed, loves to eat, sociable. </li></ul>
Theories of Personality, cont… <ul><li>The Trait Approach (Allport, Cattell): instead of categorizing individuals according to type, trait theorists generally believe that people possess certain traits in lesser or greater degree. Example: moody, talkative, quiet, calm, active, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Allport recognized that some traits are more enduring and general than others are. So, he drew distinctions among cardinal traits , central traits , and secondary traits . </li></ul><ul><li>Cardinal traits: seems to influence almost every act of a person who possess it. They are uncommon and only few people have it. Example: Hatred for Hitler and reverence for every living thing for Schweitzer. </li></ul><ul><li>Central Traits: highly characteristic of a given individual and easy to infer. Only five or ten traits can give fairly accurate description of an individual's personality. </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary traits: they are not as crucial as central traits for describing personality. Secondary traits are not demonstrated often because they are related to only a few stimuli and a few responses. Examples: liking to watch old movies, attending football games frequently, and putting off work until almost too late. </li></ul>
Theories of Personality, cont… <ul><li>Psychoanalytic (Freud, Jung): Freud divided the personality into three parts: the id , the ego , and the superego . </li></ul><ul><li>The id has no objective knowledge of reality. It cruelly and uncompromisingly drives the organism toward pleasure; it is therefore said to follow a pleasure principle . </li></ul><ul><li>The ego must deal with reality if the id's desires are to be met. It therefore functions according to a reality principle . </li></ul><ul><li>The superego : the part of the personality that incorporates parental and social standards of morality. </li></ul><ul><li>Freud believed that the dynamics of the personality involved continual conflict among these elements. Freud considered sexual behavior and aggression to be instinctive. </li></ul><ul><li>According to Freud, as a person develops, he or she passes through several psychosexual stages. These stages – the oral , anal , phallic , and genital – mark important points in the development of a healthy personality. </li></ul><ul><li>If transition through these stages doesn't go smoothly, developmental problems arise. Fixation may occur at any stage. For example, if a child's id doesn't receive enough satisfaction during the oral stage, that infant can become an adult who eats excessively, drinks, chew, bites, smokes, or talks in quest of the oral satisfaction denied at him/her in infancy. If bathroom training is premature, it will produce adults who have “anal” personalities. They will be either anally retentive – overemphasizing neatness, cleanliness, precision, and punctuality – or they will be anally expulsive, exhibiting messiness and disorganization in nearly all matters. </li></ul>
Theories of Personality, cont… <ul><li>Behavioral theory (Skinner, Bandura): Behaviorists theorists believe that learning and environmental forces impacting on the organism shape personality. </li></ul><ul><li>Bandura argued that personality is shaped not only by environmental influences on the person but also by the person's effect on the environment . </li></ul><ul><li>The Humanistic Approach (Maslow, Rogers): The focus of all humanistic theories of personality is the concept of self. Self refers to the individual's personal internal experiences and personal evaluations. </li></ul><ul><li>Carl Rogers has developed a humanistic self theory of personality that focuses on the individual's self-perception and personal view of the world. </li></ul>
The Mosaic of Self: Self-Personality Development from Basic Elements <ul><li>Inborn Temperament: some qualities that are present at birth and remain consistent throughout childhood, ex.: activity level, rhythm, approach/withdrawal, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Appearance: both self-acceptance and social responses from others are affected by physical appearance. </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual identity: involves recognition of sex differences and sex roles, development of a preference for one's biologically assigned role, and adoption of that role. </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic Affiliation: the effects of ethnic affiliation on the personality are impacted by a host of other sociological, economic, and personal factors. </li></ul><ul><li>Birth order: often entails differences in treatment from family members, which, in turn, affects personality characteristics. </li></ul><ul><li>Early Experience: very early the child comes to feel that his/her world is warm and safe or cold and hostile as a result of interactions with primary caregivers. Both the emotional responses and the experiential activities provided by early caregivers interact with inborn characteristics to provide a foundation for the development of the personality. </li></ul>
The Process of Becoming <ul><li>All that a person comes to describe as “I” or </li></ul><ul><li>“ Me” is a part of that person's self (Calhoun </li></ul><ul><li>and Morse, 1977) This identity is developed </li></ul><ul><li>through a series of four stages: </li></ul><ul><li>Self-awareness (recognition of me as a separate persona) </li></ul><ul><li>Self-concept (beliefs about what I am and what I can do) </li></ul><ul><li>Self-esteem (positive or negative feelings about my perception of me) </li></ul><ul><li>Self-confidence: (anticipation of success or failure based on my self-appraisals) </li></ul>
The Process of Becoming, cont… <ul><li>Allport (1955) believes that until the age of four or five, the child's personal identity is unstable. Beginning at that age, however, it becomes the most powerful force in the child's existence, since the child uses self-opinions to determine how she will react to events and which experiences she will volunteer to undertake. </li></ul>
The Process of Becoming, cont… <ul><li>Coping Ability: Locus of Control and Initiative. The ability to cope successfully with life's problems is based on the belief that our success depends on our own efforts and not on fate. This faith gives rise to the initiative needed to accomplish the problem solving. Whereas initiative gets things started, industry completes them. If tasks are realistically related to ability level, if self-confidence has been built through previous successes, and if preparation for the present task has been adequate, the child usually will be industrious. A sense of humor is also helpful, since it releases fear and anxiety, shows mastery of concepts, reassures children that the world is orderly, and makes children a pleasure both to themselves and to others. </li></ul>
Negative Roadblocks <ul><li>Include tension , stress, anxiety , frustration , and fear . Tension, or the “tied in knots” syndrome, is characteristic of certain ages at which children are having to make major adjustments. It is also often related to self concerns, home conditions, and school experiences. Anxiety , or a vague feeling of uneasiness, may be caused by suppression of major goals, painful experiences, difficult decision making, or misunderstandings about cause and effect. When children have difficulty in succeeding or gaining control in a situation, frustration may result. Withdrawal, whining, and aggression are some of the means used by children to express this emotion. Like other negative emotions, fear may result from unpleasant experiences, state of helplessness, limited knowledge of the environment, misunderstandings of cause and effect and direct imitation. </li></ul>
Facilitating Personality Growth <ul><li>Caregivers help orchestrate the personality development of children. They encourage young people to like and accept both themselves and others. They help relieve negative emotions by increasing children's understanding of the world around them. Finally, through planning for success, they help move children from uncertainty to self-confidence and enthusiastic participation in life's activities. </li></ul>
How parents influence the personality of their children
Sources: <ul><li>Dworetzky, John P. Psychology , 6th Edition. California: Books/Cole Publishing Company, 1997. </li></ul><ul><li>Stassen, Kathleen. The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence , Second Edition. Worth Publishers, NY, 1986. </li></ul><ul><li>Webb, Patricia K. The Emerging Child: Development through Age Twelve . New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1989. </li></ul><ul><li>Child-friendly Initiative. 2008. http:// www.childfriendly.org / </li></ul><ul><li>"When children are valued and their needs are met, society benefits; children thrive and communities unite." Michele Mason </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks! </li></ul><ul><li>Mirtis ;) </li></ul>