ERIC Number: ED031294
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Mothers as Teachers of Their Own Preschool Children: The Influence of Socio-Economic Status and Task Structure on Teaching Specificity.
Brophy, Jere Edward
This study investigated the degree to which mothers of 4-year-old children placed specific behavior of their children in a meaningful context and whether such degree was a function of the socioeconomic status (SES) of the mother and/or of the particular situation involved. The subjects were 137 mother-child pairs of Negroes, who ranged in SES from middle class to lower-lower class. The mother was observed during a structured interaction (with her child), in which the mother attempted to teach her child a block sorting task. For purposes of data collection, the task was divided into sections or "situations." It was found that the degree of informational specificity in the mothers' communications varied both with social status and with the sections of the task. The middle class mothers generally scored highest on specificity. Sharp differences in the amount of meaningful activity between mother and child were found for (1) stimulating or enriching activity, (2) complex or abstract activity, and (3) teaching desired behavior, rather than just eliminating undesired behavior. The data favored the higher SES mothers. (WD)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Children's Bureau (DHEW), Washington, DC.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Texas Univ., Austin.
Note: Portions of paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association, Los Angeles, Calif., February 6, 1969