Development in Middle Childhood
Middle childhood has many dimensions which affect the individual growth and development. Dimensions are biological, psychological, and social development. Also, a child’s environment, such as school or home, can affect the individual growth and development. To help aid the understanding of individual growth and development, there are various theories one can apply to middle childhood. These theories allow one to examine each dimension uniquely. To help demonstrate the many dimensions of middle childhood is the book All Over but the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg (1997). He writes a memoir about his life growing up poor in the South and the path he traveled down that led him to become a highly acclaimed journalist for the New York Times. Rick Bragg describes his family, nuclear and extended, as extremely poor white Southern people. He grew up living mostly in a shack with his mother, two brothers, and grandmother. Bragg’s extended family had a strong presence which was shown by supporting his mother, him, and his brothers throughout his childhood. His mother signed up for welfare because she knew she could not earn enough money to clothe, feed or care for her children with her job. He described his mother was headstrong and loving. She demonstrated this by protecting her sons from the effects of poverty. Occasionally, his father, who is part Native American and a viscous drunk, came around to take his family to a new home. Bragg’s life consisted of social factors such as poverty, domestic violence, abuse, and alcoholism which affect the developmental growth. In addition, his interactions in his environments play a pivotal part in the development of himself. Further, the use of theories helps to reflect the developmental stage of the middle childhood. Bragg’s memoir Multigenerational Impact
Family support and kinship plays a important role in the development of the children’s behavior and their success in both academic and non academic settings. Bragg exclaims the reason why he enjoyed his childhood was because of his mother’s family kindness and help. His uncles became his solid male figure in his life. They would represent a father figure in his life. His Aunt Jo and Uncle Ed would take him and his brothers to drive in movie theater, to the hotdog stand, to their basket ball practices and games, and occasionally a trip to the ice cream store. Also, as Bragg got older, his uncle gave him and his brothers’ jobs in his company. His family members would make quilts for them or pass down clothes for the children to wear. He is connected to events of familial history which shaped his childhood (Charlesworth, Wood, & Viggiant 2008). He inherits family ideologies from the previous generation and current generation. For example, his mother taught him “not to give a damn when it hurts” and “every life deserves certain amount of dignity no matter how poor or damaged the shell that carries it” (Bragg 1997 p. xx-xxi). It was this ideology that helped Bragg push for what he wanted to do with his life. Without these ideologies of his mother he might not have traveled the path he went down. According to literature, children in middle childhood learn how they respond to the events and people around them, and what they expect from themselves and others are profoundly influenced by their relationships in their environment of the homes in which they live (Shonkoff & Phillips 2000). A family systems approach disputes that in order to understand a family system one must look at the family as a whole and not as individuals (Family Systems, n.d.) Family systems theory looks at the internal working of a family like hierarchies, boundaries, equilibrium, to name a few. Information in a family system is passed through feedback loops. Bragg’s family would evident negative feedback loop (Kaslow, Dausch, & Celano 2003). For example, homeostasis in his family has been hinder by domestic violence. The feedback...
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