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Posted: November 16th, 2022

Case Study (Preschoolers’ Social Development)

Case Study (Preschoolers’ Social Development)

Directions: With reference to the appropriate information in your text and at least one other reference, answer the questions that follow the case study. Be sure that your responses are written in complete sentences and in paragraph format. Use research-based information to support your responses. Your responses should reflect 1) knowledge and understanding of how children grow and develop; 2) knowledge and understanding of theories and principles of development; and 3) developmentally appropriate practices. Be sure to use proper citation of references and include a reference list at the end of the case study.

Note: for questions 1-4 please be mindful to base your answers on research and not on personal values or opinions. ( question 5 can be answered freely)

Minimum page length: 3 WRITTEN pages(not including cover page and references)

Jim Bartell has been watching his son Jason carefully. Because Jim runs a business 90 minutes from home, his wife Tessa, who works right in the neighborhood, has had primary responsibility for raising Jason, and Jim has been growing steadily more worried over the 4 years of Jason’s life.

First, it was Jason’s quiet voice and shy, gentle mannerisms. Then it was his quiet insistence on getting a doll for Christmas at age 3, which Jim felt he had at least managed to sabotage by picking a G.I. Joe doll. Of course, Jim’s anxiety mounted when Jason spent more time dressing Joe in different outfits than making the action figure run around, blowing things up. Then it was Jason’s love of drawing and making clay models instead of playing with the neat toy guns and sports gear that Jim brought home for him.

Jim has long believed that his big mistake was letting Tessa place Jason in a local day care where all the other kids were mostly girls. Jim is convinced that this environment has influences Jason’s choices and made him more feminine. He is hoping that next year Jason’s kindergarten class will have more boys in it so his son can escape from the undue pressure to confirm to a girls’ lifestyle.

1. Given what you know about gender differences in preschoolers, are Jim’s worries about Jason’s mannerisms and habits justified? Why or why not?

2. Jim attributes Jason’s behaviors to environmental influences. Could genetics also be a factor? Can the relative influence of nature and nurture be determined accurately?

3. If Jason attended an all-boys cay care, would his behavior and preferences necessarily be different? Why or why not?

4. Which perspective – biological, psychoanalytic, social learning, or cognitive- provides the most satisfying explanation of Jason’s behavior? Why?

5. Do you think Jim is right that the exposure to boys in kindergarten will change Jason’s behavior? If so, how might this work.
Case Study: Preschoolers’ Social Development

The paper seeks to answer the questions based on the case study and the theoretical development of the preschoolers.
Question 1
Jim is worried that Jason’s behaviors are feminism oriented. The worries are justifiable. Ashford, LeCroy, and Lortie (2010) assert that preschool is the beginning of gender role identification. At this stage, both girls and boys show a tendency of playing differently. This is a sign of their notions regarding the sex-typed play. In this process, they clearly identify as to whether girls or boys play with cars, cook, and climb trees among other activities. The preference of the gender-specific toys is another gender identification role for the preschoolers. Parents, especially fathers may tolerate their female children to engage in tomboyish activities but tend to get more worried whenever male children participate in cross-sex activities. At age three, children should have the fundamental sense of gender identity, and at age four it should come to their realization that gender never changes with time (Ashford, LeCroy, and Lortie, 2010). Therefore, Jim as a father is right to worry because his child may continue with the orientation of feminism over time and fail to develop and portray the masculinity behavior as expected by the society.
Question 2
From the perception Jim, the behavior of Jason was attributed to the environmental influence (the fact that she was placed in daily baby care where most kids were girls). However, he totally forgets of other factors like genetics. Nevid (2013), states that nature (genetics)-nurture (environment and culture) debate has experienced controversies for a long time. However, psychologists have deduced that human behavior is influenced by both combinations of environment and genes. Scientists have recognized that experience and biology work hand in hand in the enhancement of the ability of an organism or a person to adapt successfully to the surrounding (Bouchard, 2004). There is thus the relative influence on the development of children. This is affirmed by the statement of psychologists that genes contribute approximately half of the variability in personality traits among individuals (Nevid, 2013). And the genetically influenced traits are dependable to a large extent on the environment and culture under which the children are raised (Bouchard, 2004).
Question 3
Most likely, the behavior of Jason would be different if had attended the boy care. The reason is that environment influences the development of the children. To explain this, let’s compare the case at hand and the case presented by Ashford, LeCroy, and Lortie (2010). Tyrone’s mother had the ambition of raising her son in a non-gender specific way. The lady was determined to see her son developed nurturance and warmth characters. The son thus began playing with his sister and more worrying he began to wear women related clothes. The mother sought to consult a therapist who suggested that the mother should throw away the dolls and skirt dress and buy him the relevant playing toys. It is clear from this story that when children are growing and developing they tend to imitate the roles of the people, they see in the surrounding. Therefore, in the boy care, the baby would have seen the types of plays the boys engage in; and Jason would have no choice but to follow their suit.
Question 4
Social learning theory best fit the explanation of the behavior of Jason. According to social learning theory, gender roles are learned through the environment, a system of punishment and rewards (Carroll, 2015). Children learn to model their behavior by the attempts of winning their parents’ approval (Thies & Travers, 2006). Jason went to a baby care where girls were the majority. The caretakers act like the parents of the children they take care of. It is thus deducible that in most instances Jason could have seen girls get approval from the caretakers and learned it was the way forward. The girls could only get approval through wearing good dresses to their dolls. It explains the reason why Jason was busy dressing Joe dolly and not making action figures like blowing things up and running around. Hence, the social learning theory fits the explanation for the behavior of the Jason. Jason’s behavior was best explained by social learning theory. Gender roles are learned through the environment, a system of punishment and rewards, according to social learning theory. Children learn to model their behavior by attempting to gain parental approval. Jason went to a baby care center where the majority of the children were female. The caregivers act as if they are the children’s parents. As a result, in most cases, Jason could have observed girls receiving approval from the caregivers and concluded that this was the way to go. The girls could only gain approval by dressing up their dolls in nice clothes. It explains why Jason was preoccupied with dressing Joe Dolly rather than making action figures like blowing things up and running around. As a result, the social learning theory fits the explanation for Jason’s behavior.
Question 5
I think Jim is right about his thought. When Jason joins kindergarten and gets exposed to boys, he will change his behavior. In my perspective point of view, the course of action will is guided by the social learning and cognitive theories. Jason will most likely get punishment from the fellow kids who will mock him whenever she behaves like a girl. He will see it as a punishment. The only way to escape the punishment is to look for approval. Cognitive theory will then follow. According to this theory, the kids recognize the physical differences between boys and girls and identify with group fit them, and then they begin looking for more information (Carroll, 2015). The point here is that Jason will see that the mockery is not for nothing. He will compare his dressing styles only to realize that he looks like the other boys and thus the only way to get their approval is to behave in the same way the other boys do. Most likely he will get approval both in kindergarten and at home.
In conclusion, it is evident from the case study that environment partially contribute to the development of the preschoolers.
Ashford, J. B., LeCroy, C. W., & Lortie, K. L. (2010). Human behavior in the social environment: A multidimensional perspective. Australia: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.
Bouchard Jr, T. J. (2004). Genetic influence on human psychological traits: A survey. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(4), 148-151.
Carroll, J. L. (2015). Sexuality now: Embracing diversity. Cengage Learning.
Nevid, J. S. (2013). Psychology: Concepts and applications. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Thies, K. M., & Travers, J. F. (2006). Handbook of human development for health care professionals. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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