Agents of Socialization

Agents of socialization include parents, siblings, extended family, community, culture, economic environment, religion, child care, school, teachers, peers, formal organizations, sports, mass media, and technology. In an ideal world, these agents would complement one another in order to best influence a child’s development. Choose three of the above agents and discuss how these agents can have both a positive and negative influence on a child’s development. Include examples from your own experience and share ways that you believe the agents of socialization could be improved.


“Although parents are not the only agents contributing to the socialization of children, the family has been viewed as perhaps the major vehicle for socialization” (Bojczyk, K., Shriner, B., & Shriner, M. ,2012). Parents set the groundwork for their child’s development by providing physical and social environment. Each family/parent has their own beliefs and values which are passed on to their children. We can also see that parents of different families have their own parent styles/disciplinary techniques. If we look at the different parenting styles we can see the positive and negative influences on a child’s development. Parents who use permissive parenting show great amounts of affection toward their child. However, this style of parenting also provides little discipline which could become a challenge when trying to get children to follow directions. Whereas, a parent who chooses to use the authoritative parenting style listens to their children, encourages independence, while placing limits and expectations on their behavior. Because children are encouraged express opinions and discuss options they are able to use reasoning and work independently. I have noticed over the years children who have grown up with parents who parent using the authoritative style, usually have a better control of their own behavior. They are able to adapt to different situations by discussing options and resolving the problem.


Depending on the childcare facility you could have negative and positive influences on the child’s development. If a childcare facility is equipped with a variety of materials and opportunities for growth, then children can have positive influences. The child’s development also depends on the relationships between the caregiver, parents, and children. When childcare facilities offer quality experiences children can benefit cognitively, socially and emotionally. Some children may not be exposed to interactions with other children except while attending a childcare facility. This year we had a child to start in our Pre-K classroom, he can already read and write, complete simple math problems, and manipulate any toy or puzzle. However, this particular child had never been exposed to other children. He was unable to communicate with his friends, solve problems, or interact with others during “play” times. His parents had provided him with many opportunities to expand his physical development, beliefs, culture, and cognitive developments. However, his social skills were delayed due to the lack of interactions of other children. Since he began with us, he has improved his social skills because of the quality opportunities which were offer in the childcare facility.


Siblings play a big role on a child’s development since younger children will watch and learn from their older siblings. Siblings spend a lot time of time interacting with one another and sometimes they can become annoyed with one another. I have noticed my oldest child becomes very annoyed with her younger brother however, my son has learned many communication skills from his sister. His language skills developed faster than most of the children in class at school. He has also shown that he is able to share and work with others since he has to share at home. He has picked up on the expectation of his sister and follows these same expectations without having to be told. However, he has also picked up habits of his step-brother since our house is blended. He has difficulty understanding that his brother says or does things differently since we do not allow certain things to go on in our house. Sometimes he feels the rules are different and discipline seems a little harsher. I believe when families are blended it work best if they could communicate for the child. Having different expectations can be misleading to the child and the development of them and their siblings.


Bojczyk, K., Shriner, B., & Shriner, M. (2012). Supporting Children’s Socialization: A Developmental Approach. CA: Bridgepoint Education