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ERIC Number: ED168710
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Classroom Behavior and Psychosocial Adjustment of Single- and Two-Parent Children.
Ellison, Edythe
This study compared the psychosocial adjustment and social behavior of children from divorced or separated single-parent families with that of children from two-parent families. The theory of attachment was adopted as the conceptual framework for the study because of similarities between the behavioral response of children to parental separation (as reported in the clinical literature) and that of young children to separation from an attachment figure. Observations were made of the gaze direction, proxemic, tactile and verbal behavior of 38 children (19 single-parent and 19 two-parent) between 8 and 12 years old in classroom settings. Psychosocial adjustment was rated by classroom teachers. Teachers rated single-parent children as being more "academically disabled" than two-parent children and results of univariate analysis of gaze direction behavior suggest that two-parent children may adapt more successfully to the shifting demands of the classroom than single-parent children. Multivariate analysis of the behavioral data found significant main effects for age and sex but not for family status. A significant interaction effect on children's verbal behavior with male peers was found for family status and age during periods of social interaction. During non-academic time periods older single-parent children of both sexes contacted and spent more time in dyadic conversation with male peers than older two-parent children. Differences were also noted in the patterns of correlations between teacher ratings of academic disability and observations of the children's behavior. These findings are discussed in relation to attachment theory, peer relations and the academic performance of single-parent children. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Gaze Direction Behavior; Proxemic Behavior; Tactile Behavior; Two Parent Families
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979)