Social and Personality Development in Infancy | My Paper Hub
and Personality Development in Infancy
and Personality Development in Infancy
The social and personality development
can be understood from three primary perspectives that interact to shape the
development. The first of these aspects is the biological maturation which is
responsible for the development of emotional and social competencies and forms
a basis for temperamental individuality. The second perspective is that of the
social context in which the child lives which includes and most especially a
relationship that provides guidance, security, and knowledge for the child. The
third and final perspective is the child’s representation of themselves and the
social world(Thompson, 2017). Social and personality development
is, therefore, the continuous interaction between biological, social and
representational aspects of an individual’s psychological development. The
research to be discussed in this paper is one that was published in the
International Journal of Play Therapy in 2017. The study was on The Effects of
Adlerian Therapy (AdPT) on Maladaptive Perfectionism and anxiety in Children.
The research was conducted by Sue Bratton and Sinem Akay of the University of
North Texas. Bratton & Akay (2017) observed that there had been lots of
studies conducted on perfectionism, but little has been done to treat the
maladaptive perfectionism in children.
Bratton and Akay (2017) have cited
several authors in their work including Stoeber & Otto (2006) who defined
perfectionism to be of two kinds. Adaptive perfectionism and Maladaptive
perfectionism. According to the two, maladaptive perfectionists, individuals
set very high and unrealistic expectations of themselves and show rigidity in
behavior when it comes to achieving their aspirations. As a result, their lives
are characterized by psychological problems which include low self-esteem,
depression, interpersonal issues, eating disorders and personality disorders.
One of the most highly recognized mental health problems and is associated with
perfectionism in anxiety and which starts in early years of development. The
research also states that perfectionism is an inherent part of life where an
individual strives to rise from inferior to a superior state from early
childhood to adulthood. The adaptive perfectionism has a potential of helping
an individual to advance themselves by working towards improvement. The
research focuses on a proposal that was made by Ashby, Kottman &martin in
2014 which showed support for play-based intervention based on Adlerian
Principle. The principle is a responsive developmental approach that focuses on
helping children change their maladaptive behavior and thoughts. The research
to be looked at on this paper is a single-case design study which was aimed at
finding out the effect of AdPT on children’s perfectionism that leads to
anxiety in other worlds, the Maladaptive perfectionism.
Perfectionism is a personality trait.
Personality growth, on the other hand, emanates from several factors among them
temperament. Temperament can be defined as early emerging self-regulation and
reactivity that separates an individual from the rest. Temperament, as seen
earlier, is biologically based and which interacts with other aspects to shape
a person’s personality. Temperamental dispositions in an individual are
affected by various factors(Oswalt, 2017). For example, the
level of support a child gets from their parents. To understand this, we look at
an example of a child who is adventurous. If the child has parents who take
him/her out often for adventurous activities like hiking, fishing and other
trips of the sort, involvement in these activities is in support of the child’s
personality development which means they are a perfect fit. Personality is
therefore as a result of a continuous interplay between biological disposition
and experiences in the external environment, which can also be supported by
other aspects of social and personality development. The case for an
adventurous person can, therefore, be compared to that of a perfectionist.
Although perfectionism may be a temperamental disposition, the other two
aspects which are social context and representation play a significant role in
its development. It is this argument that Ashby et al, (2014) from Bratton
& Akay’s (2017) research used to identify that play therapy intervention in
childhood can be used to change the temperamental dispositioned maladaptive
perfectionism to adaptive. Adaptive perfectionism is one which impacts
positively on the child even as they grow into adulthood.
In this research study, Bratton &
Akay’s (2017) hypothesis was that AdPT which included a collaboration and
consultation of parent and teachers in the children’s play session would
demonstrate a decrease in children’s anxiety and maladaptive perfectionism.
AdPT is a therapeutic technique that incorporates directive and nondirective
play methods that are meant to help children gain a deeper understanding of how
they view the world, other people and even themselves and enable rehearsal of
their changing perceptions. The therapists use various toys, playful
interventions, materials to help children learn and feel significant. They may
also include storytelling and puppetry. When using this technique, the play
therapists need to pay attention to some crucial Cs. Among the Cs is having a
connection with others, having courage, feeling that one counts and perceiving
oneself as capable. They are the essential Cs that a child needs to develop a
healthy overall social and personality development. Through the AdPT children
can come up strategies which they can use when dealing with life and its
imperfections. According to the literature provided by Bratton & Akay
(2017), the AdPT has various goals when it is put into practice. The goals
include helping children to:
·Recognize self-defeating themes as they
play and shift their behaviors,
·Regulate their reaction to how they
perceive criticism from other people
·Expand their materials of playing
·Learn strategies for dealing with
·Have a higher tolerance for risk and
making mistakes thorough accepting greater responsibility
·Restrict the distorted temperamental
·Change their attitudes toward
orderliness when in a playroom.
·Improving their sense of social
According to the research, The Adlerian
theory is the most commonly used approach by children counselors and with which
they align their theoretical approaches(Lambert et al., 2007).
There has not been any research that focused on the effectiveness of the method
with perfectionist children despite its broad application. Therefore, the
primary purpose of the study was to examine the effects of AdPT on children who
are identified as having maladaptive perfectionism and more specific in a
school-based approach for elementary school children.
The research used a single-case design
which allowed experimentation with the participating children and showed the
causal relationship. It would be possible to get strong empirical support for
the treatment efficiency using the single case experimental design. It is said
that a single-case study is a useful tool in promoting the effectiveness of
therapeutic interventions that involves play(Nock, Michel
& Photos, 2017). The research included the teachers, parents, counselors in
school and two children one was a female Caucasian seven years old, and the
other one was a Hispanic American male who was ten years old. The first sample
size was five children whose parents had accepted participating. However, only
the two passed the criterion set to determine the children who would
participate. The two were third graders however just the 10year old got to
complete the therapy during the time of the research. Therefore, the data that
was presented in the research paper belonged to a single child. The time was
limited; therefore, the 7year old did not finish the therapy at the time when
the research was concluded. Other than the forms that were filled to determine
whether the individual children were eligible to participate, Sinem Akay one of
the researches, conducted interviews to the mothers on the children to gather
background information of the participating children(Akay
& Bratton, 2017).
The research found that although the
overall findings for the child self-report were not as promising as expected
regarding the efficacy of AdPT, the results reported by the parents, teachers
of the participant, and the observations by the researcher indicated that AdPT
had a positive impact on the children who participated. According to the
research, the participating child showed a change in some ways. First, he was
able to change his attitude towards participation in class. Prior the therapy
the subject was preoccupied with avoiding results that were imperfect and which
would result in isolating himself in class, but after the treatment, the child
was able to participate. As a result, two of the goals of connecting with other
people and feeling capable were achieved(Akay & Bratton,
The mother of the child also reported
that the participant after undergoing the therapy was more willing to assist
his brother with challenging tasks and homework from school. The participant
also developed an ability to use encouraging words which only means that the
participant had been able to break the barriers of maladaptive perfectionism
and had an improvement in courage which led to an increased social interest in
the child and hence ability to connect with others(Akay
& Bratton, 2017). The research also presented an argument by Enns, Cox, and
Clara (2002) that perfectionist parenting style correlates with perfectionism
in children. The mother of the participant admitted to having been a
perfectionist and having struggled with her tendencies. At the end of the
study, the participant’s mother understood her role that played a big part in
leading her child to become a maladaptive perfectionist through her tendencies
of having high expectations in herself and therefore modeling fear of failure
in her child.
Perfectionism is a personality trait
that can have long-term and short-term effects. Although it is a temperamental
trait, its development can be affected by the social context in which one is
brought up. If not encouraged, it can be limited to adaptive which is positive
however if it is supported from infancy where the child is making the first
attachment with the caregiver or the mother can lead to maladaptive
perfectionism which affects the individual even in adulthood.
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