PSYC 101 - HW 2

1. Describe two things you learned from the article. a. One thing I learned from the article was the discrepancy between how Americans treat their toddlers and how the Japanese treat their toddlers. In America, it is often seen as a horrible abuse to leave a child under 6 alone, parents get berated or even reported to CPS if their toddler is outside unsupervised. However, in Japan, toddlers are almost expected to be independent, a toddler accomplishing a task outside alone is seen as a right of passage rather than neglect. Another thing I learned was Japan might not be as safe as we are led to believe. In comparison to America, with all of the kidnappings and gun violence, Japan is viewed as almost a safe haven. Through the article however, I learned that Japan also has its own issues with safety, sexual crimes being number one on the list. 2. Describe something in the article that interests you or relates to something you have observed. a. I think it's really interesting to think about the overall dynamics of parents and children in Japan compared to the US. On one hand, children in Japan are expected to be more independent from their parents, doing chores at a young age and even being expected to commute to and from school without supervision as a toddler. In the US however, in my own experience, parents are expected to drop off and pick up their children until around the age of eight or nine. Yet when the children grow up and turn 18, there is a trend where in the US, parents expect their children to be self-sufficient and move out. The newfound adults either attend university or begin their careers, a lot of them living on their own or paying rent to their parents. Based on my own understanding of Japanese culture, being East Asian myself, children are expected to live with their parents until they get married, and more often than not, the newlyweds will still live with one set of parents, most likely the female moving in with the male's family. The dynamics and expectations of what it means to be independent is almost flipped between the US and Japan, where in the US children are coddled then expected to be completely independent once they become adults; Yet in Japan, children are encouraged to be independent, but are expected to be dependent on their parents when grown up. 3. What is one hypothesis you have about how the level of adult supervision affects children's development, and how could someone test it? a. One hypothesis I have about how level of adult supervision affects children's development is the children who experience less adult supervision tend to develop higher levels of self esteem as they grow older. One way to test this hypothesis is to create a self report survey that checks in with children from both the US and Japan throughout their development until they reach high school. The main reason why I would plan on stopping the testing at high school is due to the discrepancy in the pressure placed on students in the US compared to Japan. The test could consist of questions that have the children rate their own opinions of themselves as well as others on a ranged scale.
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