Stability and change of social skills and self-concept at the beginning of school age
Published inJyväskylän yliopisto. Psykologian laitos. Julkaisuja
The focus of this study was on the analysis of stability and change of social skills and self-concept, the relationship between self-concept and social skills as well as the influence of family socialization, especially parental consciousness of parenthood, on this process. The material was collected as part of the research project "Way of life of the family, parental consciousness of parenthood, and children's social development" (Takala et al., 1979). There were 213 subjects consisting of 6 to 7 years old children from the cities and the countryside. The sample included only families with two parents, and was homogeneous with regard to the schooling of the parents. The estimation of children's social skills was based on parents' and kindergarten teachers' ratings, as well as on the observations made by teachers in natural settings and by researchers during four problem solving between the participants. situations requiring cooperation Three verbal social self-concept measures were used in order to study the integration level and contents of self-concept as well as social self-concept. Parents and kindergarten teachers differed in their estimations of childrens' social skills. The results indicated high stability of social behavior from preschool settings to school and during the first school year especially among the active, constructive children and children who had problems both with classmates and adults. Important transitional phenomena were found. Significant differences in social self-concept were found between the groups with different social skills in the middle of the first school term. Perceived peer-acceptance of the active constructive children was high and stable. The children who had problems both in adult and peer relations at school had quite negative social self-concept before beginning school and suggested defensiveness in self-concept 7-8 months after beginning school. Among the aspects of socialization, the goals presented for child rearing as well as the guidance and control system of the family were especially related to children's social skills. ...
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