ERIC Number: EJ922042
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Development of Personal Autonomy throughout Cultures
Helwig, Charles C.
Cognitive Development, v21 n4 p458-473 Oct-Dec 2006
It is argued here that autonomy entails universal psychological needs pertaining to agency and identity formation, expressed in different ways over different developmental periods. As children develop skills and abilities related to psychological needs for self-expression and competence, they will claim areas related to the exercise of these abilities, in accordance with the possibilities afforded by different cultural environments. The development of a sphere of autonomous functioning is postulated to be central to conceptions of personal freedom and rights, placing limits on the legitimate actions of authorities and other social agents. Concepts of personal freedom and associated rights are often constructed in the context of conflict, in which children's attempts to claim personal freedom is met with opposition by parents or other authorities. Evidence is reviewed indicating that the developmental pathway toward autonomy shows many similarities across diverse cultures that are only beginning to be recognized and systematically investigated.
Descriptors: Psychological Needs, Freedom, Personal Autonomy, Psychology, Cognitive Development, Self Concept, Cultural Differences, Conflict, Parent Child Relationship
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A