This summary will discuss the major aspects of week eight’s topic question one. Looking at self esteem, self concept and how they both relate within peer groups in society. Furthermore looking at the roles that social/ welfare workers play when dealing with socially isolated, lonely or unpopular children. This can be broken up into a more simplified approach of looking at all of the above through the following: What is self esteem? Self esteem is how a person perceives themself.
This can be positive or negative in most cases it can be both. Self esteem may change depending on how other people view you, this is because society has made people believe, act and think in certain ways, the reason being is that society has been organised through expectations. This again will always change through the development of self esteem as the child develops through experiences this may change the way they will think of themselves.
This is evident through school children as the young may only describe them self through physical appearance and then as they grow older start to see more than the superficialities and describe more meaningful aspects of themselves such as psychological or personality qualities (Peterson 2004). What is self concept? Self concept is the gathering of knowledge about the self. This can be relevant to physical appearance, personality traits, beliefs, values and much more ;a href=”http://social. jrank. org/pages/554/Self-Concept. html”;Self-Concept;/a;.
Self concept same as self-esteem will change reflecting society and developmental changes throughout the stages of the person’s life. What is a peer group and what does it involve? Children’s interaction with their age-mates is known as peer groups they could be in several settings such as the school, organised group activities and informal relationships (Schiamberg, 1988). Peer groups may have same-sex individuals as they are more comfortable with each other. Peer groups consist of many different individuals but at the same time they all share at east one common norm. How do peer groups affect the development of self esteem and self concept in middle/late childhood? Children’s interaction with their peers has a major contribution to their development (Schiamberg, 1988). Children learn that even though there are groups many people have different thoughts about most things. Thus the peer group offers children the opportunity to achieve recognition and respect among a group of equals. In contrast the word equal becomes related to status and how people within the same group do not all have the same role.
These can be roles like leader and follower, popular or isolated; this all depends on the social skills of that person (Peterson, 2004). Having mentioned all of the above, the elements of behaviour that must be built in a person all relate back to the self concept and self esteem of that individual (Denzin, 1977). A child may be affected in a positive way from the interaction with their peer group. An example of this in relation to self concept is “I understand people, so friends come to me with their problems” (Peterson, 2004:256), this shows that this person has high self concept through their experiences.
An example of someone having both positive and negative self esteem and self concept is “I am good at reading but useless at maths”(Peterson, 2004:256) so the two key words being good and useless present how this person sees both good and bad in themselves. Lastly an example of how one has negative self esteem and self concept is “I am very shy so I have trouble making friends”(Peterson, 2004:256) this particular person may feel this way but the fact that they understand why this is happening to them is excellent as this is something they may see as a problem and want to overcome it.
How would you help an unpopular, lonely or a socially isolated child as a professional in this occupation? In this profession it is vital that there are guidelines that should be followed in order to successfully help the child in need. According to the guidelines by Daniel et. al (1999), they discuss the importance of peer problems and possible solutions. These solutions are broken up into steps, thus receiving the best possible outcome for the child. Malik and Furman (1993) explain four approaches which include:
Social skills training- This relates to those children who find it difficult to form friendships and lack interaction skills. They describe two programmes which aim to teach a number of skills in a series of lessons. This could be conducted by individuals or groups. The 2 programmes teach listening and handling. Social cognition training is the next step; this approach focuses on changing cognitive processes in order to overt behaviour in the future. An example is the ‘think aloud’ (Daniel et. al 1999:227) programme which is an effective problem solving skill for the child in peer situations.
There are some questions a child is taught to ask themselves when faced with a problem they include: -What is my problem? -How can I solve it? -Am I using the best plan? -How do I do it? Fostering successful peer experiences follows; this programme takes the children through graded series of activities, these include: -therapy groups to learn social skills -structured naturalistic peer groups such as swimming lessons -participation in pair interaction -intermediate difficulty peer groups such as outdoor activities -Lastly they join a semi-structured peer group such as a sports team
Lastly changing social contexts becomes a part of how society can also help this child. This was transmitted through information that became public, which discussed what will be tolerated within peer groups. Overall this approach gave results that appeared to show decreases in peer group issues. Having mentioned the above, this has only looked at one particular approach of how to help socially isolated children. In conclusion in this profession it becomes very important to look into every spect of why your client is feeling this way and how to help them to change these particular feelings. The reason being is that this will always change the way you will look at the particular issue and its possible solutions. REFERANCE LIST Alvarez, J. M. (2008) Self concept. Retrieved 2nd April 2008 from: Web site: <a href=”http://social. jrank. org/pages/554/Self-Concept. html”>Self-Concept</a> Daniel, B. Wassel, S. and Gilligan, R. (1999) Child development for care and protection workers. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Denzin, N. K. (1977) Childhood Socialization: studies in the development of language, social behaviour, and identity. San Francisco, Washington and London: Jossey- Bass publishers Malik, N. M. and Furman, W. (1993) Practitioners Review: Problems in children’s peer relations: what can the clinician do?. Journal of child psychology 34,8, 1303-1326. Peterson, C. (2004) Looking Forward Through the Lifespan: Developmental Psychology. (4th Edition). Sydney: Pearson. Schiamberg, L. (1988) Child and Adolescent Development. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.