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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

For 50+ years, developmentalists have examined the problem of socialization effects, namely, the processes by which children acquire the beliefs, values, and behaviors considered appropriate or desirable by the society to which they belong. Toward this end, child effects were initially characterized as unidirectional, flowing in only one direction, viz., from the environment (via socializing agents) to the child (e.g., Freud, 1940; Skinner, 1953). This was replaced by the notion of bidirectional effects (Bell, 1968), that children can act on parents to the same extent that parents can act on children. Recently, researchers have moved toward a transactional model (e.g., Sameroff, 1983), which describes the cumulative effects of ongoing two-way influences between parents and children including their social and economic contexts. Relevant here, however, holistic/systems-developmental theory (Demick, 2010) is employed to advance the transactional model, advocating a need to reconceptualize child effects as “child-in-environment effects” on adult development and learning.

Keywords: socialization, unidirectional effects, bidirectional effects, transactional effects, holistic/systems-developmental theory, parenthood

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