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Psychosocial development

according to Erikson, development that encompasses changes both in the understandings individuals have of themselves as members of society and in their comprehension of the meaning of others' behavior

Initiative-versus-guilt stage

according to Erikson, the period during which children aged 3 to 6 years experience conflict between independence of action and the sometimes negative results of that action


a person's identity or set of beliefs about what one is like as an individual

Collectivistic orientation

a philosophy that promotes the notion of interdependence

Individualistic orientation

a philosophy that emphasizes personal identity and the uniqueness of the individual

Race dissonance

the phenomenon in which minority children indicate preferences for majority value or people

Gender Identity

The perception of oneself as male or female

Gender schema

a cognitive framework that organizes information relevant to gender

Gender constancy

the belief that people are permanently males or females, depending on fixed, unchangeable biological factors


a state in which gender roles encompass characteristics thought typical of both sexes

Functional play

play that involves simple, repetitive activities typical of 3 year olds

Constructive play

play in which children manipulate objects to produce or build something

Parallel play

action in which children play with similar toys, in a similar manner, but do not interact with each other

Onlooker play

action in which children simply watch others at play, but do not actually participate themselves

Associative play

play in which two or more children actually interact with one another by sharing or borrowing toys or material, although they do not do the same thing

Cooperative play

play in which children genuinely interact with one another, taking turns, playing games or devising contests

Authoritative parents

parents who are controlling, punitive, rigid, and cold, and whose word is law. They value strict, unquestioning obedience from their children and do not tolerate expressions of disagreement

Permissive parents

parents who provide lax and inconsistent feedback and require little of their children

Authoritative parents

parents who are firm, setting clear and consistent limits, but who try to reason with their children, giving explanations for why they should behave in a particular way

Uninvolved parents

parents who show almost no interest in their children and indifferent, rejecting behavior

Cycle of violence hypothesis

the theory that the abuse and neglect that children suffer predispose them as adults to abuse and neglect their own children

Psychological maltreatment

abuse that occurs when parents or other caregivers harm children's behavioral, cognitive, emotional,or physical functioning


the ability to overcome circumstance that place a child at high risk for psychological or physical damage

Moral development

the changes in people's sense of justice and of what is right and wrong and in their behavior related to moral issues

Prosocial behavior

helping behavior that benefits others

Abstract modeling

the process in which modeling paves the way for the development of more general rules and principles


the understanding of what another individual feels


intentional injury or harm to another person

Emotional self-regulation

the capability to adjust emotions to a desired state and level of intensity

Instrumental aggression

aggression motivated by the desire to obtain a concrete goal

Relational aggression

nonphysical aggression that is intended to hurt another person's psychological well-being

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