ERIC Number: ED044177
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970
Reference Count: N/A
Mother-Child Interaction: Social Class Differences in the First Year of Life.
Tulkin, Steven R.; Kagan, Jerome
To study maternal behaviors as related to social class differences, 30 middle class and 30 working class white mothers were observed at home on two separate days with their 10-month-old firstborn baby girls. Predesignated behaviors which occurred during 5-second intervals were recorded by an observer. Total observation time was 4 hours for each mother and child. Findings showed that the working class children's environments were more crowded and provided less opportunity for exploration and manipulation. Little social class difference was found for mothers' nonverbal behavior (such as time spent in close proximity to the infant, kissing, or holding). However, dramatic differences were found for the mothers' verbal behaviors. Middle class mothers more often: (1) initiated vocalization, (2) responded vocally to their infant's vocalizations, (3) imitated infants' vocalizations, and (4) praised their infants vocally. Middle class mothers more often entertained their infants and responded more quickly and more frequently to their infants' fretting. Maternal differences seemed related to various factors, including different conceptions of infancy and different values. Working class mothers lacked confidence in their ability to influence their childrens' development. (NH)
Descriptors: Behavior, Child Rearing, Infants, Lower Class, Middle Class, Mothers, Nonverbal Communication, Parent Child Relationship, Social Differences, Verbal Communication, Verbal Development
American Psychological Association, 1201 17th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036 (Proceedings, 78th Annual Convention, APA, 1970; v5 p261-62 1970)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.