Parental encouragement and punishment and children`s self-esteem and emotional state


  • E. Nikolaeva
  • S. Burkova


The cognitive and emotional development of the child, as a function of the style of upbringing, the particularities of the parents’ personalities and the structure of the family, have been studied extensively. There is one subject that continues to be insufficiently accessible to psychological investigation: the system of encouragement and punishment in the family. A child’s self-esteem, as a central part of their ego, their system of self-conception, is formed under the influence of statements made by significant adults, i.e. parents, family members, teachers... It can therefore be supposed that self-esteem depends considerably on methods of punishment and encouragement. At a moment of either punishment or praise, a child reacts emotionally, and that reaction should have an impact not only on these situations but on any problematical situations. A total of 119 children between the ages of six and eight participated in the study. We have used to described the children’s self-esteem Dembo scale; a child’s notions about the methods of encouragement and punishment practiced in the family the special. To analyze the heart rate variability of a child, we did an electrocardiogram. We have shown that the system of punishment that is used within a family is the ultimate factor in predetermining the self-esteem of a child between the ages of six and eight. The system of encouragement within a family is reflected in the predominance of the sympathetic component of the autonomic nervous system and the child's health. The work is supported by RGSF Fund





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