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Describe about the Early Social Development?



Early Social development refers to psychological, emotional and biological changes that take place in every human being with respect to time and organic growth. This is a continuous process that is included as a part of development. Because of this development several genetic factors gets affected and this leads to child development.

The social behavior of child gradually changes as he grows up and this represents an individual’s approach towards socialization. There are various habits of social responses that help them to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Development also includes normative development which denotes a summation of the entire variations that is happening and it a continuous and cumulative process (Thornton and Jones, 2013).

There are various stages of development and they are divided into specified intervals of age. They are: newborn (0-4 weeks), infant (4 weeks- 1 year), toddler (1-3 years), preschooler (4-6 years), school aged children (6-13 years) and adolescent (13-19 years) (Zelan, 2008). Parents play an important role in determining social development in a child’s life. This involves caring, nurturing and proper parental training given to their children to develop them.

2.1) Define the term Socialization.

Socialization can be defined as a learning process which a child needs to develop themselves. Socialization is a process by which individuals acquire knowledge, skills, language and other social norms that are required by an individual for sustaining in a group or community. Socialization also refers to the process of adopting a particular culture and adhering by the norms that is restricted to that particular culture. Socialization also helps in shaping the personality of an individual. A human being socializes in order to interact within a group, learn various behavioral aspects and act according to situations (Swart and Grauerholz, 2012).

There are various types of Socialization which are as follows:

Natural Socialization: This occurs when infants and youngsters discover their social world and discover what is happening around them.

Planned Socialization: This occurs when other people take actions to implement changes to train them.

Positive Socialization: this is a type of learning that takes place due to exciting experiences.

Negative Socialization: This takes place when any criticisms or punishment is been given to teach an individual.

Socialization is a powerful tool that helps to promote human development and helps to maintain uniformity within a society. In today’s world even organizations are socializing because they are composed of several ethnic groups.

2.2) Stages of Socialization in Infants and Children:

Socialization consists of various important stages that every child passes through. They are:

Primary Socialization: This refers to socialization of an infant in his early days of life when he is born. This process begins when a child develops norms and values and learns cognitive skills. The infant also learns how to become a social participant within a group. These norms become a part of the personality of the individual which he can relate which he can relate with the right and the wrong things as well.

Secondary Socialization: this process begins outside an individual’s immediate family within a peer group. The growing child learns all the important lessons during this phase. Lessons are also been taught in the school as well. This is a kind of social training which is been given to the child at institutional level and this learning continues for rest of the life as well.

Adult Socialization: In this process various roles are performed by an individual as that of a husband or a wife. This theory basically teaches an individual to take new responsibilities and to perform them effectively. The basic objective of this process is to bring change in the views of the individual. Adult socialization basically refers to change overt behavior rather than molding the basic values which already exist.

Anticipatory Socialization: this is a process that refers to learning a particular culture of a group and abiding by its policies as well. In this process an individual learns all the norms, values and beliefs of that group and this inspires him to apply those in the new role he is performing.

Re-socialization: this is a process that refers to the process of discarding former behavior patterns and to accept the new ones. Accepting such becomes a transition phase in an individual’s life. This takes place when a social role is radically changed. This process involves abandonment of one way of life for another so that the incompatibility is matched with the earlier reference.


2.3) Theories of Socialization in contrast to different types of socialization:

The major theories of Socialization are:

Family: Family plays an important role in this process. Families contribute a lot to the socialization process. Infact it is the most important part of this process. The parents use both reward and punishment to imbibe that is required for a child. All the undesirable behaviors are checked by the family itself.

Peer Group: This means a group that shares some common characteristics. This group can be school friends, classmates, colleagues etc. A growing child learns several aspects from its peer group as well.  Various information can be exchanged that give rise to shared values.

Religion: Religion also plays an important role. It instills an individual from bad and undesirable events that can affect an individual personally as well.

Educational Institutions: Schools colleges and universities form an essential part to bring changes in the socialization process. Not only have they helped to learn languages but also to acquire concepts about various subjects as well.


 It can be concluded that apart from understanding that children are growing and changing according to the various stages they are also getting matured day by day in terms of their height weight and other proportions. Cognitively they start thinking symbolically and explores through various forms of language. Emotional feelings also develop within a child and they also learn how to work on them and express empathy as a reflexive emotional bond. Socially they also start mingling and interacting with friends, relatives and siblings. Morally they fight within their brain to understand as to what is right and what is wrong for them. Therefore Socialization reflects the parenting skills also as to in what proportion a parent are involved to develop and bring in their child.



Antonacopoulou, E. and Pesqueux, Y. (2010). The practice of socialization and the socialization of practice. Society and Business Review, 5(1), pp.10-21.

Ellis, M. (2010). Child development and disability in resource poor settings. Child: Care, Health and Development,

Gelman, S. (2010). Modules, Theories, or Islands of Expertise? Domain Specificity in Socialization.Child Development, 81(3), pp.715-719.

Grusec, J. and Davidov, M. (2010). Integrating Different Perspectives on Socialization Theory and Research: A Domain-Specific Approach. Child Development, 81(3), pp.687-709.

Hitlin, S. (2006). Parental Influences on Children's Values and Aspirations: Bridging Two Theories of Social Class and Socialization. Sociological Perspectives, 49(1), pp.25-46.

Swart, E. and Grauerholz, L. (2012). Socialization. New York: Infobase Pub.

Thornton, K. and Jones, B. (2013). Socialization. New York: BowTie Inc.

Zelan, K. (2008). Two child-rearing socialization models. PsycCRITIQUES, 53(9).


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