Social Development and Identity – Development of Social Functions and Identity

     One thing that is important when a child begins to interact within society is the formation and understanding of their own identity to themselves. In the early child hood years identity is formed through a process called “identification” where a child attempts to look, act, feel and be like other people in their environment. An important key in forming social development and identity is the discovery of ones sex and the sex roles that go with it. Identity is usually formed through observation and imitation of others in their lives who are available and who the child pays a lot of attention to. Kohlberg (1966) believed that children went through certain stages in acquiring their sex roles.

* Basic sex-role identity occurs when a child labels themselves either boy or girl.
* Sex-role stability occurs when children realize that sex-roles are stable – girls will grow up to be women and boys to be men.
* Sex-role constancy occurs when children realize that no matter what their outward appearance is, their sex stays the same. For example they know that dressing as a boy will not make them a boy, if they are already a girl.

Related Links

Child Psychology
Early Childhood
Mental Development
Aggression & Prosocial Behaviour
Community Influences
Middle Childhood
Developmental Psychology
Problems of Children & Teens