An exploration into personality development of children in the context of the family

Donaghy, Joanna (2016) An exploration into personality development of children in the context of the family. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This paper seeks to explore the personality development of children (aged 0-11 years) in the context of the family. The paper begins by focusing on the nature/nurture debate and surrounding theories. Such debates appear significant to childhood development research in determining exactly how facets of the child’s social cognition, such a personality, develop. Therefore, theories relating to this debate, such as; Freud’s theory of psychosexual stages, Skinners’ behaviourism hypothesis and Bandura’s Social Cognitive theory are evaluated in relation to the child’s developing personality. Following this foundational chapter, the nurture side of the debate is expanded in Chapter 3, through looking at the first nurturing relationship-the parent. Aspects covered are: parenting styles, observational learning and attachment. By examining the potential correlation between this initial relationship and early year’s personality development, the study seeks to scaffold on various attributes, challenges and influences present in the child’s first social setting. In order to demonstrate the complexities of examining the personality in relation to the family, the paper then explores birth order. This variable, discussed in Chapter 4, relating to the aforementioned aspects of parenting as well as siblings, demonstrates the way in which measuring specific familial influences is often complicated due to a myriad of other present variables.
    Through using a variety of secondary literature, theories, research and studies, the paper recognises the potentially varied way families can influence young personalities. The study concludes with the acknowledgment of its own limitations due to the vastness of personality study and the complex workings of the family unit. However, the paper recommends that the study of personality within the family should continue in order to expand understanding of the significance of this setting in relation to a child’s social development.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Education and Childhood Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2016 11:27
    Last Modified: 03 Aug 2016 11:27

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