Theory, Methodology, & Human Development Abstract

Theory,Methodology, &amp Human Development


Specifictasks more of relate to the social development in early childhood.The aspect tends to be similar with the developmental tasks thatoccur in cognitive growth. The term social refers to the relationshipor an interaction that occur between two or more people who respondto each other or influence the behavior of each individual.Socialization is mostly important aspect in a child development.Socialization, in its simpler definition, refers to the processwhereby an individual, especially children, tend to becomefunctioning members of a certain group. They further acquire values,beliefs, and behaviors of a group or a certain society. The processhowever begins shortly after birth and always continues intoadulthood. The crucial point of socialization mostly occurs at theage of early childhood. The way children are disciplined, how theyrespond to it and their independent development behavior are allrelated to the process in which the socialization aspects occur. Thisresearch aims at working out on the research question and itsproblems. The research question under study is ‘how can family sizeinfluence the process of socialization?’

ThesisStatement: Family size plays a vital role in the aspects ofsocialization especially in the cognitive development of children.

ResearchQuestion and Problem

Theresearcher seeks to address the research question and its problems.The research question under this aims at investigating on how afamily size can influence the process of socialization. The questiontargets the socialization aspects in children due to effects of theirfamilies. The research question is how can family size influence theprocess of socialization in children development?

Familyroles seem different, and the role of the families tends to change.According to Cowan, Field, Hansen, Skolnick &amp Swanson (2014),‘every family is unique in exception of people in various roles,history of development, patterns of interaction and the relationshipwith other systems.’ Family categories fall into three groups. Theyinclude nuclear, extended, and single parent. The nuclear family iscomposed of a father, mother, and children living together. Theextended family has two or more than two families that live together.The groups entail of the grandparents, aunts, uncles and otherrelatives. Thirdly, the single parents involve offspring’s livingwith either their father or mother. Recent studies reveal thatchildren living with single mothers are likely to live in povertythan those with single fathers Cowan et al., 2014).

Theresearcher seeks to formulate on three basic research questions thatelaborate on the effectiveness of the scientific methods. Thequestions include:

1.How can a dimension of parental behavior affect socialization?

2.At what extent do the effects of discipline and punishment inchildren affect socialization?

3.How a family size affects children development and other cognitivegrowth socialization?

Dimensionsof Parental Behavior

Accordingto Perry &amp Perry (2009), the acceptance-rejection and thecontrol-autonomy are the main factors that contribute to family’sattitudes in child rearing. The structure of the family alongsidewith the personality characteristics of the individual parents tendsto make a difference in the socialization. The aspects are evident asper the below case studies.

Afather of two believes that spending time, on a daily basis, with hischildren is vital to developing strong family ties. During this time,the children tend to talk about how their day has been, engage insome physical activity, such as playing with their dog, a walk, orenjoying simple games. Hugging his children and telling them of howimportant they are to his life tends to be part and pursue of theirlives. In return, his children more of feel accepted in this warmenvironment. His friends often remark, “Your children always showresponsibility and the self-control. What are people doing that makesa difference?” Such children always want to deliver their best toplease their parents. As a result, their parents are their rolemodels.

Restrictiveparents who are more of strict always have their children behave inan appropriate manner however, the children are highly dependent ontheir parents. Undeniably, such children tend to be under strictsupervision from their parents. They grow up with good behavior dueto the fear of being punished by their parents whenever they docontrary to their expectations. On contrary, teachers and parents whohighly allow children to make rules have different perspectives inthese contexts, the child is the boss. In fact, such children tend tointeract freely with visitors as well as feel free to make their owndecisions. Such children view autonomy as a type of parental andcaregiver behavior hence, they are often sociable and more ofassertive and aggressive (Perry et al., 2009).

TheEffects of Punishment and Discipline

Theapproach to discipline and punishment tends to be another developmenttask of learning. Teachers and parents tend to use a form ofdisciplines when children misbehave. The approach may be in the formof scolding, spanking, embarrassing, or making the child feel unlovedor inferior. The negative approaches seem to have unwanted results.Consequently, teachers and parents rely on a positive approach indisciplining children. For instance, when a child does somethingwrong it is the duty of both teachers and parents to correct them byphysically checking on the wrong aspects instead of punishing them.The positive approach more of teaches the child on what to do in casean accident happens (Slaughter &amp McWorter, 2013).

Howfamily size affectschildren development andother cognitive growth socialization

Oneof the main roles of a parent is the socialization of the child.Socialization is the process by which an infant presumes to be anacceptable member of the society. Similarly, he or she must behaveappropriately, possess requisite skills, know the language, and holdthe prevailing attitudes and beliefs. Generally, the important methodof socialization is the imitation of parents by a child in anysociety. Children are given very little or no explicit instructions.However, they are expected to learn necessary behavior and skills byobservation (Slaughter et al., 2013).

Youngchildren mostly imitate their parents in all societies however, theyalso imitate many other people in the society, such as oldersiblings, children, and non-family (Gross, 2011). The family sizesposses’ different traits that a child at the tender age imitates.For instance, a child may capture different traits from her parentsand a contrary one from her older siblings or other members such asgrandparents.

Whatchildren tend to learn in the real context of their normal homes may,in fact, not be a preference outside the home. Most western countriesprefer a very difficult norm in the home and more of outside home.For instance, the displays of emotion that tends to be acceptable athome may not be acceptable outside the home setting (Gross, 2011).Consistency tends to be vital in guiding children towards a higherlevel of socialization. Consistency in discipline more of allows achild to know what is wrong or right. Teachers and parents assistchildren in the socialization. They build a sense of feeling andtrust that they can have some control over their entire life.

Sociologistsand educators argue that socialization of the child determines howthe adults relate to life. Similarly, society tends to dictate theirexpectations. Parents and teachers may work together as a team inhelping children reaches higher standards of socialization.


Thecentral assumption of the GS theory is that socialization tends to bea highly context-dependent type of learning. The children may learnseparately on how to behave while at home either in the presence ofparents or when they are not present. Consequently, the manner oflearning and reinforcement contingencies may also seem quitedifferent. For example, at home they may be reprimanded in case of amistake and praised wherever they behave appropriately. On the otherhand, outside home they may be ignored when they do behave andridiculed for mistakes they do. The GS theory also pertains to theoutside home socialization. According to this theory, socializationthat occurs outside the home is primarily a sort of a group process.Indeed, such socialization is as result of dyadic interactionsbetween two or more individuals.

Social-CognitiveTheories of Group Processes

Theaforementioned phenomena accounts for the group behavior. The membersof the group become more of similar to each other and over a certainperiod tend to be dissimilar. One of the most tremendous approachesis a self-categorization theory that was proposed by Turner in 1987.The theory posits that many people can categorize themselves invarious levels and ways. They may range from all the way from theunique person to a human being. Part of this range of interest maybegin at a unique individual and go further to various overlapping ornested groups. They include examples such as an Asian American,college student and a female (Hoover &amp Donovan, 2010).

Accordingto Fine &amp Fincham (2013), there is a difference betweenself-categorization as a person and self –categorization as a groupmember. What causes the movement along the continuum and thedetermination of a particular self-categorization tend to be anadoption of a point in time. Similarly, it is the relative salienceof various categories of social norms.

Thesocial category salience varies at different times and contexts.Individuals who categorize themselves in certain groups tend to adoptthe group rules, standards, and sort of beliefs. The differentiationonly occurs when people choose to group themselves as individuals.However, these two processes may not be mutually exclusive. Oncontrary, the groups may operate simultaneously at most time. Turnerbelieves that a person generally spends most of their time at themiddle of individual identity-group clusters (Fine et al., 2013).


Researchmethodology in the study of family socialization can be categorizedinto three major approaches. Each of the three approaches has itsstrengths and weaknesses. These three approaches aim at largelyreflecting on the later research questions addressing the effects offamily size on socialization.

Oneapproach entails survey research of the contemporary families. Theapproach holds the benefits of providing statistical data and a wideand hopefully a random sample from which a researcher may interpolategeneral traits of a society (Gross, 2011). However, the surveyrespondents may answer as they wish hence, their responses end o bebiased. Similarly, it also gives a one-sided explanation in the viewof a larger group that may not allow for contention. The informationmay seem outdated even if it is the representation of the truestatistics of the real world. The information may sometimes notrepresent or may deceive true points that the graphs and survey mayrepresent.

Anothermethod may be ethnographic research of the family. The surveys inthis context allow for broad but a shallow analysis (Grusec, 2011).The observation in this context may allow the sociologists to obtaina rich data on the source of much-limited size. It will more of allowthe inside perspective through a closer look, a better idea and theactual social framework of certain families. In a place where surveyseems strong, then the ethnographic tends to be weaker. By reducingthe size of the sample size, resources may no longer be evident as tohow the representatives in a family may be researched on (Fairclough&amp Wodak, 2011). For example, a large family in a society does notgive much room in the linking of the specific traits of the familyunder observation than a more general society. Thirdly, theresearcher uses documental studies of families from past informationor sources. The sources may include legal record, personal items andmatters of public records.


Scientificmethods refer to a body of techniques that are used in theinvestigation of a new phenomena they make use and integrateprevious knowledge. Researchers use scientific methods to findinformation about a specific or particular topic of study. Thesemethods include observation, experiment and modification ofhypotheses. Social science perspective rely on the scientific methodin the same way that natural or physical science do. Both methods usethe same logic of scientific method since they both establish therequired truth in an empirical manner.

Scientificmethods used in social and physical sciences have several similar andoutstanding features. For example, social science researchers andscientists seek to bring out the reality that speaks for itself intheir study. The reality tends to support the theory when confirmingpredictions. Similarly the scientific methods always challenge thetheory when the prediction proves to be false.

Researchersinvolve scientific research in order to come up with a body ofknowledge, which might provide a deep understanding of presentcircumstances that may predict future events (Bales &amp Parsons,2014). In addressing the effects of family size in socialization, thescientific research theories may be of great help. The two basictheories include:

AConceptual Scheme

Theoriesare based on theoretical concepts. Theoretical always have abstractproperties and may not be easily verifiable by direct observationsensory. They more of tend to deal with the study of mate selectionto study traits. Winch`s theory of the complementary refers to theone’s field of the eligible’s that may be endogamous group ofindividuals with similar social economics status. The concept ofoccupational prestige, number of years of formal education and familyincome may be similar to Socio- economic status (Berns, 2012).

TheSystem of Propositions

Thistheory poses a system of interrelated propositions of certainstatements of the relationship between certain variables. Thisproposition usually varies about generality. Different propositionsare brought together to illustrate on their similarities. Theyconsist of abstract propositions, whereby people may likely marry apartner with similar social traits or backgrounds, such as ethnicityand age (Bales et al., 2014).


Socialization,especially of young children, depends on the family size and the typeof family they grew in. For instance, a child raised at a strictfamily tends always to be disciplined but always operate under fearsyndrome. On contrary, parents that are not much strict but alwaysadvise their children on the best way forward have children who bothin appropriate manner as well as act as if they are their own bosses.They do what they feel is right and not what others may say.Scientific and other research methods make it possible to study andanalyze the effects of family on socialization. The cognitivedevelopment of children mostly depends on the traits of people closeto them. They may be parents, teachers, or even certain groups in asociety. Scientific theories consist of the system of propositionsand conceptual Scheme. The GS and cognitive group theories are someof the theories that more of facilitates analysis of socializationtraits.


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Berns,R. (2012). Child,family, school, community: Socialization and support.New York: Cengage Learning.

Cowan,P. A., Field, D., Hansen, D. A., Skolnick, A., &amp Swanson, G. E.(Eds.). (2014). Family, self, and society: Toward a new agenda for family research.London: Routledge.

Fairclough,N., Mulderrig, J., &amp Wodak, R. (2011). Critical discourseanalysis. Discourse studies: A multidisciplinary introduction,1, 357-378.

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Gross,J. J. (Ed.). (2011). Handbookof emotion regulation.New Jersey: Guilford Press.

Grusec,J. E. (2011). Socialization processes in the family: Social andemotional development. Annualreview of psychology,62,243-269.

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Slaughter,D. T., &amp McWorter, G. A. (2013). Social origins and earlyfeatures of the scientific study of black American families andchildren. Beginnings:The Art and Science of Planning Psychotherapy,5, 1-34.