COGNITIVE STAGE AND PSYCHOSOCIAL CONCERN IN EARLY LATENCY AGED GIRLS
FEINSTEIN, PAULA ERTEL
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Theoreticians have regarded cognitive and emotional developmental as being interdependent. Empirical substantiation of such interdependence has rarely been demonstrated. Instead, research are largely focused upon either the attainment of cognitive hallmarks or selected aspects of affective development. This study investigated the extent to which the attainment of a key cognitive landmark, i.e., conservation, parallels the dominant psychosocial issues in a child's affective development.;A further area of investigation was the effect of stimulus content as well as cognitive stage upon the psychosocial level of stories told. An additional comparison was made between perceptual and 'narrative' conservation.;Sixty girls ranging in age from 5-8 years with 15 in each age grouping comprised the sample. Intelligence, socioeconomic status and behavioral pathology were controlled for. Subjects were individually administered the followng tasks in two 15-45 minute sessions. The Revised Vocabulary Subtest of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Three Conservation Tasks--number, mass, and continuous quantity, four pictures of the Tasks for Emotional Development, eight author created stem beginning stories, and one story told in the absence of stimuli. Subjects' test responses were blindly analyzed for conservation. Stories were blindly analyzed for psychosocial development according to Elkan's Eriksonian checklist, the present author's altered version of this list and for narrative conservation through the Mahony Story Stages.;The results showed a generally increasing trend toward higher psychosocial maturity with increasing cognitive development over and beyond the effects of age. Specifically, using pictures as a stimulus, statistical differences in psychosocial level were observed between preoperational and concrete operational subjects, with transitional subjects failing to differ from either group. Using stem beginning stories as a stimulus, the preoperational group differed significantly in psychosocial level from those that had attained concrete operations, as well as from those who were in the latter transitional group. In addition, early transitional subjects differed significantly in psychosocial level from those in concrete operations. There were also significant differences between preoperational and early transitional subjects in terms of their psychosocial maturity. Using freely told stories the preoperational subjects differed significantly in psychosocial level from those subjects in the stage of concrete opinions. Significant differences also existed between preoperational and latter transitional subjects' psychosocial maturity. The author's most Characteristic Level score revealed, however, significant differences across all groups.;Stimulus content as well as cognitive stage were found to be instrumental in producing significant differences in psychosocial scores. Within the picture condition, the stimulus was significant in eliciting the particular psychosocial score it was designed to evoke. Cognitive state was additionally a significant factor for two stimuli: Autonomy and Industry within the stem beginning condition, the stimulus was a significant factor in eliciting the particular psychosocial score anticipated, and cognitive stage was also a significant factor for all stimuli.;A comparison between perceptual and narrative conservation yielded inconclusive findings and the absence of a linear relationship between them.;The reported findings had some implications for the application of these normative findings within a clinical setting. Implications for psychodiagnosis and treatment of children in early latency was described. Additional educational implications and directions for future research were suggested. A variety of replication studies were described to verify and expand the parameters of the present findings.
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