THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY (2003,vol.14)
Kawabata, Miho (Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Letters, Ritsumeikan University). How Children Differentiate Classmates: An Examination of Personal Constructs. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, vol.14, No.1, 1-13.
This study delineated developmental trends in social cognition during middle childhood, as children form personal constructs about their classmates. Elementary school pupils (N= 112) completed a Japanese-language version of Kelly's (1955) triadic-elicitation Grid form. Participants read the names of nine triads of classmates and generated a bipolar construct that differentiated individuals within each triad. Content analysis of these constructs was performed with coding according to structural form (traits, preferences, facts, etc.). There were no significant age or sex differences in the relative frequencies of constructs, but use of structural forms varied by grade. The results indicated: (1) 2"d graders used traits as frequently as did older children and used attitudes more frequently than did older children; (2) 4th graders focused notably on facts; and (3) Among 6th graders, reputation, popularity, and peer group affiliation were important constructs. These findings suggest that children's personal constructs for classmates do not necessarily parallel the social-cognitive shift in middle childhood from egocentric, observable, external, and concrete activities and characteristics, to a focus on non-egocentric, internal and abstract phenomena.
[ Key Words ] Elementary school children, Classmates, Personal constracts, Grid technique, Social cognition
Komori, Nobuko(Graduate School of Psychology, Ritsumeikan University). An Investigation of Young Children's Copying of Kana Letters. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, vol.14, No.1, 14-24.
This study examined preschool children's Kana letter writing from the standpoint of letter reading, cognition of letter segmentation and construction, and stroke skills. In Experiment l, preschool-age children (N= 47, mean age 5:2 years) read, copied, and constructed various shaped phonetic Kana letters. Construction tasks included two steps: selecting and constructing letter parts. Error analysis in 5 categories was applied to children's copies and constructions of letters. The form of some letters was influenced by reading, while others were influenced by children's cognition of segmentation and construction. A subsample of these children participated in Experiment 2, which investigated wheather lack of stroke skills affected children's errors. After watching the experimenter trace each sample letter by finger, children copied the letter. Only children who were able to read and construct letters in Experiment 1 showed a decrease in copying errors during Experiment 2. The results indicated that the effect of the 3 factors (reading, cognition, and stroke skills) may be influenced by letter forms.
[ Key Words ] Pre-school children, Letter copying, Literacy, Segmentation/construction, Writing skills
Nishikawa, Yukiko (Kacho Junior College). The Development of Japanese Children's Use of Self-Reference Terms: Focus on Boys' Use of the Term, "Ore". THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, vol.14, No.1, 25-38.
The present study examined how children develop self-reference terms. Families of day nursery children (N= 216) answered a questionnaire about their children's use of self-reference terms, and five-year boys (N = 9) were also observed in a day nursery setting. Survey results indicated that children from age two used a nickname or first name as self-reference terms, and following that boys used the terms "ore" and "boku" as self-referents. They also tended to use a nickname, first name, or "boku" with their parents, and "ore" with friends Boys learned to use "ore" during conversations with friends. Girls continued to use their names or nicknames during the school years and seldom used the female self-referent "watashi." Observations indicated that boys tended to use "ore" toward day nursery teachers when they wanted to assert themselves. However, an autistic child who used the referent "ore" at home did not use it at his nursery. The use of "ore" may reflect the expansion of the self in early childhood, as boys selected their self-referent terms depending on the context or addressee.
[ Key Words ] Self-reference, Early childhood, Self, Psycholinguistic Development, Autism
Wakahara, Madoka (Graduate School of Psychology, Faculty of Letters, Rikkyo University). The Relationship between Adolescents' Attitudes Toward, and Their Identification to their Parents, and Their Sense of Fulfillment. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, vol.14, No.1, 39-50.
This research investigated relations between adolescents' attitudes (affection; feelings of power) and identification (processes of modeling; awareness of introjection), with regard to their parents. Using Nishihira's (1952, 1990) framework to study parent-adolescent relationships, it focused on how attitudes relate to one's sense of fulfillment, i.e., daily feelings influenced by a sense of identity. According to the results of Study I, adolescents (259 males and 439 females) tended to feel affection for and power toward their parents. When these feelings were strong, identification with parents was also strong, indicative of a modeling process. Attitudes toward parents were not significantly related to participants' sense of fulfillment towards either fathers or mothers. In Study II, a qualitative analysis using semi-structured inter-views of 7 males and 9 females showed that Nishihira's framework was useful for predicting the attitudes and identifications of young adolescents. In addition, the adolescents in study II tended to feel affection and power toward their parents (particularly mothers), and this attitude was related to identification with parents. However, these attitudes were not always positively associated with fulfillment.
[ Key Words ] Adolescence, Parent-child relationship, Identification, Ego ientity, Personality development
Ishino, Hideaki (Department of Infant and Early Childhood Education, Hyogo University of Teacher Education). Multiple Perspectives of the Participant Observer: Toward a Thick Description of Child Rearing at Nursery Schools. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, vol.14, No.1, 51-63.
The methodology of participant observation, more than most other scientific approaches, requires a researcher to describe and discuss her/his own involvement in the field, because the method has to be customized for each unique research setting. This article analyzed a researcher's approach at a nursery school, and discuss how the field observer grasped the processes of children's growth. The analysis showed first that the Children-caregivers-observer relationship determined the researcher's way of being. Second, the participant observer took many role perspectives in the field, as conceptualized on a continuum from insider to outsider. Third, based on these perspectives, the researcher assigned meanings to phenomena for the members at the nursery school, and observed children's developmental processes in a valid manner. Finally, this paper made suggestions about methodological issues for future participant-observational studies in terms of the relationship between researcher and members, within the larger context of the field.
[Key Words] Nursery school, Participant observation, Children-caregivers-observer relationship, Methodology
Okamoto, Yoriko (Shohoku Collage), Sugano, Yukie (Shirayuri Collage) & Negayama, Ko'ichi (Waseda University). Mother Fetus Interaction from the Viewpoint of the Pregnant Woman's Diaries about Fetal Movements. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, vol.14, No.1, 64-76.
Fetal movement is the only experience through which pregnant women can directly feel their own unborn children. The present study examined how pregnant women (N= 33) described fetal movement, in order to consider women's perceptions of and relationships with their fetuses. Participants kept a pregnancy diary, giving particular attention to their thoughts and feelings about fetal movement. Analysis of the 882 diary entries identified two major times when women's perceptions of fetal movement were particularly notable. In 29th-30th weeks of pregnancy, women began to mention the fetal leg, which suggests that they perceived the fetus as human at that point. The other significant change in descriptions came in the 33'd-34th week, when women reported that other people felt fetal movement as the third party entered into the mother-fetus relationship. Finally, this paper discussed changes in the meaning of the spontaneous fetal movements in terms of interactions between pregnant women and fetus.
[ Key Words ] Fetal movement, Parental development, Mother-fetus relationship, Maternal diary, Maternal perception
Osako, Hideki (Fukuoka Prefectural Chikugo lzumien). Milieu Therapy for Abused Children: Development of Self-Sustaining Capacity among Delinquent Elementary School Boys. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, vol.14, No.1, 77-89.
This paper describes an investigation of milieu therapy for abused children in a support facility for delinquent elementary school boys. The milieu therapy approach utilized every situation as a therapeutic opportunity. To encourage children's security in daily life, therapists gave them strong support in a small group setting. Daily work and play had important meaning for the abused children, and the researchers allowed boys to misbehave to a limited extent, while correcting their more maladaptive behaviors. The therapists also encouraged boys to express feeling, to enhance their self-esteem. In addition, children's families received counseling to help them understand the boys' problems. Many other social activities were part of the treatment approach, including school and activities outside the treatment facility. This study showed that milieu therapy appears to be an effective therapeutic approach for abused children.
[ Key Words ] Child abuse, Delinquency, Middle childhood, Milieu therapy, Child psychotherapy
Shimizu, Takeshi (Graduate School of Human Sciences, Waseda University) & Negayama, Koichi (School of Human Sciences, Waseda University). A Developmental Study of Dynamic Touch: Rod Length Perception. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.2, 113-123.
Wielding an object makes it possible to perceive many physical properties of the object without visualizing it. The purpose of this study was to examine developmental changes of haptic exploration, which is called "dynamic touch" and is based on Perceptual Systems Theory (Gibson, 1966). The particular focus was on variability in grip patterns and swinging patterns, because the variability associated with skill mastery within and across individuals indicated that the system was moving toward greater stability. Participants in the experiment, 21 elementary school children and 14 college students, reported their perceptions of rod length by dynamic touch. The results indicated that the children explored grip patterns, and college students explored ways to wield the rod. Implications for future research on dynamic touch were also discussed.
[ Key Words ] Dynamic touch, Haptic exploration, Perceptual System, Elementary school children, Perceptual development
Tomita, Shohei (Yamaguchi Junior College of Arts), Kosaka, Keiko (Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Hiroshima University^Fukuyama Heisei University), Koga, Miyuki (Institute of Total System Development) & Shimizu, Satoko (Ukyo Child Care Support Center, Kyoto City). The Influences of the Situational Actuality, Recognition of Real Existence, and Evocation of Feeling, on Young Children's Judgments About Imaginary Objects. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.2, 124-135.
This study used the "empty box task" of Harris et al. (1991) to examine influences on young children's judgments about imaginary objects. In two experiments, children were shown two empty boxes and were asked to imagine that a monster was in one of the boxes. The experimenter showed the picture of a monster to the child and asked the child to express whether the monster was real by making verbal judgments and physical actions. Next the spontaneous behavior of each child toward the boxes was observed after he/she was left alone the room. Finally, children made judgments and reported their feelings about their imagination. In comparing the influence of situational actuality under 3 conditions: story (in which the experimenter told a monster story before presenting the boxes), costume (in which the experimenter put on a witch costume during the experiment) and a control conditions, there were three main findings. First, the effects of situational reality differed according to the condition. Second, recognition of real existence was related to credibility in making verbal judgments. Third, evocation of feeling was related to the spontaneous behavior of children when they were observed alone.
[ Key Words ] Imagination, Fantasy/reality distinction, Social cognition, Individual differences, Early childhood
Tobari, Maine (Shirayuri College). The Development of Empathy in Adolescence: A Multidimensional View. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.2, 136-148.
This paper reported on the development of a mew multi-dimensional empathy scale. The scale consisted of four subscales: empathic concern, personal distress, fantasy and cognitive empathy. These subscales corresponded to Davis' four dimensions of empathy and were suitable for the measurement of empathy from early adolescence through late adolescence. Each subscale had satisfactory internal consistency and was significantly related to other empathy scales and a measure of pro-social behavior. Results included the following: (1) Male scores for empathic concern and cognitive empathy were higher among college students than middle school or high school students. (2) Male scores for personal distress were higher among high school students than middle school students or college students. (3) For females, fantasy scores were higher among college students than high school students. (4) Females' scores on all subscales were higher than males' in middle school, but gender differences decreased in high school.
[ Key Words ] Empathy, Multidimensional view, Instrumentation, Adolescence, Gender Differences
Akagi, Kazushige (Kobe University, Graduate School of Human Sciences). Mirror Self-Recognition of Autistic Adolescents and Normal Preschoolers. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.2, 149-160.
This study investigated the mirror self-recognition of autistic adolescents (n=35) in comparison with that of normal preschool children (n=51). The participants tool part in an initial "mark test" condition whereby a mark was put on the nose of the participant, who then had the opportunity to react to the mark by looking at a mirror, and then in 3 experimental conditions in which the experimenter invited the participant to touch the marks on his/her nose. Autistic adolescents touched the marks on their noses less spontaneously than did normally developing children; this was particularly notable for those with special developmental features. Autistic adolescents, like normal preschool children, showed confusion at the sight of the mark, but it was relatively more difficult for the autistic adolescents to communicate their confusion to the experimenter. The results were discussed in terms of self-recognition and communication among adolescents with autism.
[ Key Words ] Mirror self-recognition, Autism, Autistic Adolescents, Preschoolers, Communicative intent
Fukuda, Kaori (United Graduate School of Education, Tokyo Gakugei University). The Relationship Between Parents' Prompting of Children to Eat and Children's Emotions: A Family Systems View. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.2, 161-171.
This study considered the relationship between prompts by mothers or fathers for their children to eat, and their children's negative and positive emotions, comparing mothers and fathers. It also analyzed the relationship between each parental behavior, the marital relationship, and other demographic factors, from a family systems perspective. Participants were 28 families with one 4- or 5- years old child and two parents. Each family was videotaped at the dinner table on two occasions with all members present, and the parents also filled out questionnaires. It was found that the stronger the mother's or father's prompt to eat, the stronger was the child's expression of negative emotion. In addition, the poorer the quality of the marital relationship, the stronger the mother's prompt to eat was. Finally, the younger the child, the stronger prompts to eat were from both mothers and fathers.
[ Key Words ] Prompting to eat, Preschooler's emotion, Family system, Marital relationship, Demographic factors
Miyoshi, Akiko (Graduate School of Psychology, Faculty of Letters, Rikkyo University). Development of a Generalized Self-Efficacy Measure. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.2, 172-179.
This report concerned the development of the Scale Measuring a Sense of Generalized Self-Efficacy (SMSGSE). This instrument emphasized subjective feelings such as "I Feel I am capable of doing most things." In Study 1, the SMSGSE was administered along with other measures to university students (N=224) to assess the reliability and validity of the SMSGSE. The SMSGSE had a stable one-factor structure, which was the same for males and female participants, and was a reliable measure. The SMSGSE also had good content, construct, and criterion-based validity. Study 2 consisted of interviews with 12 participants, selected based on their SMSGSE scores in Study 1. The results showed that the SMSGSE adequately measured each participant's generalized self-efficacy, suggesting that the SMSGSE had concurrent validity. Overall, this study showed that the SMSGSE will be an effective measure.
[ Key Words ] Generalized self-efficacy, Self-efficacy, Instrumentation, College students, Validity, Self
Onodera, Atsuko (Mejiro Junior College). Changes in Self-Concept in the Transition to Parenthood. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.2, 180-190.
A longitudinal study examined personality changes in self-concept, self-esteem and potential self of 68 married couples during their transition to parenthood. After becoming parents, wives reported feeling more "irritable" than did husbands. There were no gender differences in reports of pre-/post-parenthood changes on other self-concept scales, such as "activity," "emotional instability," "immaturity," "nervousness," "nurturance." These results suggest that self-concept was comparatively stable during the transition to parenthood. Total change scores for self-concept among wives were related to confused feelings about physical and mental changes during pregnancy, and total change scores of husbands were related to negative potential self-image and educational background. Women's self-esteem decreased after becoming mothers, while males' self-esteem was stable over time. There were also changes in the proportions of three aspects of self ("social self," "husband/wife self," and "parental/maternal self"). Specifically, there was a significant increase in the proportion of men's "social self" after becoming fathers, and a significant decrease in the proportion of women's "social self" following the child's birth. Finally, the proportion of "maternal self" aspect increased over time, while the proportion of "paternal self" aspect was unchanged.
[ Key Words ] Self-concept, Self-esteem, Possible self, Transition to parenthood, Fathering, Parenting, Mothering
Sakai, Atsushi (University of Yamanashi), Sugawara, Masumi (Ochanomizu University), Sugawara, Kensuke (University of Sacred Heart), Kijima, Nobuhiko (Keio University), Maeshiro, Kazumi (Shirayuri College, Graduate School of Literature), Takuma, Taketoshi (Tokyo International University) & Amou, Yukiko (Aoyama Institute of Education). Twin's Trust in Parents in Childhood and at Puberty: A Human Behavioral Genetics Perspective. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.2, 191-200.
This study examined the influence of genetic and environmental factors on children's trust in parents, from a human behavioral genetics perspective. Pairs of 4th through 9th grades twins (N=381 pairs, including 215 monozygotic mMZnpairs and 166 dizygotic mDZnpairs) completed questionnaires about their trust in parents and parental behavior. Univariate genetic analysis showed that the relative effects of genetic (additive genetic) vs. environmental (common environment and non-shared environment) factors on children's trust in mothers differed from the relative effects of these three factors on trust in fathers. In addition, the ratio of these effects varies according to developmental stage (childhood vs. early adolescence). Trust in parents was also compared between MZ twins who recognized parental behavior differently from each other. Trust scores were higher among MZ twins who perceived parents as more caring. It was notable that environmental factors such as parental behavior affected children's affected children's trust in parents even among MZ twins with identical genetic structure.
[ Key Words ] Human behavioral genetics, Middle childhood, Early adolescence, Twins, Trust in parents, Genetic analysis, Parent-child relations
Matsushima, Hideaki (Department of Clinical Study for Development, Nagoya University / The University of Shiga Prefecture). A Case Study of a Practitioner's Narrative about Problems of Juvenile Delinquents. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.3, 233-244.
In the study of juvenile delinquency, it is useful to consider not only the delinquent's behavior and family relationships, but also the practitioner's perspective which have practical implications. Analysis of how a practitioner at a juvenile group home oriented daily activities revealed the practitioner's construction of the problems of juvenile delinquency. There were four related characteristics in the practitioner's narrative: attributions of the family as a cause of delinquency, blaming of family members as responsible for training their son, description of the delinquent as lacking in basic social skills, and a focus on how the practitioner treated the delinquent. The findings were discussed in relation to the daily activities of the practitioner at the group home.
[ Key Words ] Narrative, Juvenile delinquency, Practitioner's perspective, Case study
Odagiri, Noriko (Tokyo International University). College Students' Formation of Prejudice toward Divorce. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.3, 245-256.
University students (N=646) participated in a questionnaire survey about their feelings toward divorce and the children involved in divorce. The survey also assessed students' attitudes toward gender roles, marriage, child rearing and their family relationships. The first main result was that male students were more strongly prejudiced than female students against divorce and children of divorce. In addition, prejudice against divorce and children of divorce were related to students' attitudes concerning marriage and child rearing.
[ Key Words ] Divorce, Children and divorce, Prejudice, Gender differences, College students
Sakagami, Hiroko (Teikyo University / Hitachi Family Education Research Center). Adaptation of Mothers to Children's Negativism and Self-Assertion: The Development of Mothers and Toddlers. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.3, 257-271.
This article examined how mothers adapted to the negativism and self-assertion of their 2-year old toddlers. Data collected in semi-structured interviews (N=25 mothers) were categorized and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Many mothers (especially those of first-born children) were irritated by their children's increasingly default and assertive behavior. These women tended to use coercive control strategies, forcing children to obey them when children's negative behavior was intense or willful. They also used coercive strategies when they were busy or fatigued. Over time, however, mothers found new ways to cope both with children's negative behavior and with their own negative emotions. Many developed new control strategies to elicit children's understanding and compliance as children acquired new skills. Some mothers reflected on their own reactions from the perspective of the child and modified their reactions and expectations toward the children. The results suggested that mothers of toddlers can learn to coordinate their own perspectives with children's perspectives.
[ Key Words ] Toddlers, Negativism, Self-assertion, Development of mothers, Mother-child relations
Koizumi, Tomoe (Institute for Science of Labour / National Institute of Mental Health), Sugawara, Masumi (Ochanomizu University), Maekawa, Kyoko (Ohkawa Gakuen College of Social Welfare and Education) & Kitamura, Toshinori (Kumamoto University). Direct and Indirect Effects of Negative Spillover from Work to Family, on Depressive Symptoms of Japanese Working Mothers. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.3, 272-283.
Participants in a questionnaire survey about stress were 246 Japanese working mothers and 131 non-employed mothers. Work-related stress and work hours accounted for negative spillover from work to family. Analyses of Variance showed a direct negative spillover effect on depressive symptoms. In addition, path analysis showed indirect negative spillover effects on depressive symptoms via both the marital relationship and stress over childrearing. An increase in the amount of negative spillover tended to cause greater marital discord as well as childrearing stress. Moreover, marital discord and childrearing stress in turn increased depressive symptoms. The implication of this study was that and intervention to enhance marital relationships and reduce childrearing stress can alleviate the effects of negative spillover on depressive symptoms. Reduction of work stress and work hours also appeared to be helpful for reducing negative spillover.
[ Key Words ] Negative spillover, Depressive symptoms, Maternal Employment, Marital Discord, Childrearing stress
Hatakeyama, Miho (Faculty of Education, Hiroshima University) & Yamazaki, Akira (Faculty of Education, Hiroshima University). Bullying in Early Childhood: Preschooler Aggression, Rejection Behaviors, and Teacher Intervention. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.3, 284-293.
This study examined first whether preschoolers' aggressive and rejecting behaviors had the three properties of bullying: number of assailants, continuation of aggressive and rejecting behaviors, and remorse toward victims. It also investigated peer relations in relation to preschooler bullying, the modality of bullying, and a preschool teacher's intervention with bullying. Four and 5-year old preschoolers (16 boys and 18 girls) were studied in natural settings over a period of one year, using episode analysis and network analysis. Aggressive and rejecting behaviors toward one girl were observed in 20 episodes, and fulfilled the three properties of bullying. The results also showed that bullying clearly existed at the school, and that preschool teachers' sensitivity to the signals of victims was important in the identification of bullying.
[ Key Words ] Participant observation, Bullying, Preschoolers, Preschool teacher, Network analysis
Komatsu, Koji (Faculty of Education, Osaka Kyoiku University). Mother-Child Conversations about Kindergarten Friends, Teachers and Experience: Conversation Topics and the Characteristics of Children's Speech. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.3, 294-303.
This study examined mothers' reports of conversations with children about their experiences at kindergarten. In July and again November, mothers (N=235) rated the frequency of conversations with their children concerning 15 topics, most often about children's interpersonal relationships. They also rated characteristics of children's speech in the conversations. The main findings were as follows. First, mothers and children talked often about children's interpersonal experiences at kindergarten; games, positive emotions, and children's talents were the most frequent discussion topics. In addition, the number of conversations about characteristics of children's friends increased between July and November, and discussions of how teachers benefited children were consistently less frequent in conversations with 5-year-olds than with 3-year-olds. Finally, repetition of topics and imitation of teachers or friends were more common for conversations with 3-year-olds than 5-year-olds. Children were very active participants in the conversations. Further study is needed to reveal the functions of mother-child conversations in daily life.
[ Key Words ] Kindergarten, Mother-child communication, Interpersonal relationships, Questionnaire
Hasegawa, Mari (The Research Institute of the Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences, Ochanomizu University). Development of Judgments about Freedom of Speech among Children, Adolescents and College Students. THE JAPANESE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 2003, Vol.14, No.3, 304-315.
The goal of this research was to understand why younger children are less likely to affirm freedom of speech than are older children, adolescents or college students. In Study I, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 11th graders, and college students (N=176) made judgments about the legitimacy of laws prohibiting freedom of speech. With age, participants' mode of reasoning changed from focusing on the contents of speech, to a balance between speech contents and freedom, and then to a focus on the rights of the listener. Differences in mode of reasoning were associated with levels of support for freedom of speech, even after controlling for grade level. Participants in Study II were 4ty, 6th, 8th 10th, and 11th graders (N=127). With age, participants tended to recognize freedom of speech as a social value, to rate the influence of listeners as weak, and to rate contents of speech as not serious. The association between these ratings and levels of support for freedom of speech varied according to the domain of the speech contents.
[ Key Words ] Social cognition, Freedom of speech, Social domain, Social judgment