Aspects of Emotional and Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood.Report as inadecuate

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This paper examines the concept of friendship that is displayed by an 8-year-old homeless immigrant Taiwanese-Chinese child. Through the use of interviews with the child as well as observations, the author attempts to interpret the child's understanding of friendship according to the theories of cognitive, emotional, and moral development of Piaget, Gilligan, Elkin, Fraiberg, and others. The study attempts to see how well theory could be used to explain individual behavior and thinking, and to challenge the theory if it was perceived to be an ill fit for this child because of cultural dissonance provided by poverty or race. The author concludes that the theories were of help in getting some perspective on the development of this child. In the course of doing the interviews, the researcher admits to being struck by how poignant and beautiful the child's reflections on friendship are and her potential of attaining the model of friendship that she creates in her mind if circumstances with her peers permit her to relinquish her role as outcast. The appendix contains a brief description of the first encounter with the subject and her family in the shelter in which they lived. (GLR)

Descriptors: Case Studies, Childhood Attitudes, Chinese Americans, Cognitive Development, Cultural Background, Developmental Stages, Disadvantaged Youth, Economically Disadvantaged, Emotional Development, Family Life, Family Violence, Friendship, Homeless People, Immigrants, Social Development, Theories

Author: Micari, Susan


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