1. Imprinting = form birth to approximately age 7 = children actively engage in observation; what they experience is absorbed, accepted, and internalized without reasoning or logic, and considered to be normal.
2. Modeling = approximately from ages 7-13 = considered the most important stage of value development as children begin to make their own value decisions. Consequently, they determine whom to admire as role models and begin to select values and behaviors that they aspire to emulate, imitate, and internalize.
3. Socialization = approximately from ages 14-early 20s = the family’s influence on the individual diminishes. At this juncture, individuals interact heavily with their peer group and society and try out their values, and compare their values to those espoused by others. Through these transactions individuals determine which values will endure, make decisions about right and wrong, and identify who they want to be and how they want to live their lives.
Major factors that influence value development:
- Formal education
- Other formal and informal teachers (e.g. pastors, private music instructors, little league coaches)
- Geographic location