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Publisher: National Research University Higher School of Economics

ISSN: 1813-8918

Published since 2005

Published quarterly


Comparative Analysis of Children's and Parents' Views about Family Patterns of Reward and Punishment


Nikolaeva E.I.
Doctor of Biology, Professor of Institute of Childhood, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, Moscow, Russia

The author compares reports from parents and children about the patterns of reward and punishment accepted in their families, and about emotions that each of them experiences during the event. School children from the second, six and ninth grades, and their parents, participated in the study. The most significant result is the fact of mutual misunderstanding between parents and children. Parents construct it artificially when they teach children (unintentionally) to drop at a certain point their attempts at understanding the other person's emotional state. If younger children refuse to describe what their parents feel at the moment of punishment, adolescents refuse to describe their parents' feelings at the moment of reward. Children do not believe that, by punishing them, parents correct their conduct, they rather think that parents compensate for their own aggression. This fact speaks about the society rather than about the family: the kind of society we have requires its citizens to be confused about rather than to consciously understand relationships between personal rights and the social good.

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