The following points highlight the six factors influencing the social development in children. The factors are: 1. Heredity 2. Imitation and Identification 3. The Family 4. Socio-Economic Status 5. Gang 6. School Experiences.
Factor # 1. Heredity:
Heredity is sometimes mentioned as a determinant of social development. Actually, it is the individual differences or the differential family status that affects the social development of different children in the same family.
Factor # 2. Imitation and Identification:
Imitation of and identification of children with their parents playmates and siblings is another factor. It is because of these factors that boys attain social adjustment of the type that is shown by fathers. Many social skills and attitudes are learned by children from others through imitation and identification.
Factor # 3. The Family:
The family plays a vital role in the process of social development. Its influence is a continuous one and lasts over the entire life span. A well-knit family, with socially adjusted members, has a different effect from the one which is loosely knit and whose members are not well-adjusted. In a closely knit family, social reactions are easily emotionalised by children.
Factor # 4. Socio-Economic Status:
If the child is treated with love, he becomes secure and self-confident, independent. As such, he has courage to enter into social relationships outside the family. The social status of the family determines the type of associations which the child enjoys in the neighbourhood socially low homes often produce social maladjusted children. The social status of the family determines what culture, what social customs, habits, or nerves, the child bears.
Factor # 5. Gang:
Participation in small groups outside the home widen the sphere of child’s social contacts, increase social understanding and enlarge his sympathies. Self-centeredness is replaced by a social consciousness, which is increasingly broadened. Camps, gangs and clubs play an important role in this direction.
Factor # 6. School Experiences:
School experiences in the form of the school programmes, activities, opportunities for healthy social communications, guidance from teachers, determine, to a large extent, the social skills and attitudes, the habits that the child learns. The kind of discipline also affects.
In a democratic school, children show mutual understanding, greater tolerance, a sense of individual and social responsibility whereas in autocratic schools, the social behaviour of teachers and students is marked by mutual domination. Schools teach some of the basic social attitudes and principles of conduct. They make the child accept standard, rules, folk-sayings and traditions of the community.