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ERIC Number: ED170051
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Perceptions of Parenthood and Infant Development: A Comparison of the Views of High School Students, College Students, and Expectant Parents.
Baenen, Nancy R.; And Others
The perceptions of middle class expectant parents, unmarried college students, and high school students about parenthood are compared in this study. A survey administered to these groups in Austin, Texas, indicated three major results. (1) Parents-to-be are more realistic than students about the pace of development of infants. College students are more accurate than high school students on a few items, and females are more realistic than males on a few items. (2) Parents-to-be are more confident in their ability to care for an infant, even though their levels of previous child care experience do not differ from those of the students. High school students are more confident in some of their abilities than college students, and females are more confident than males overall. (3) All three groups expect some changes in their lives after the birth of a child--they expect to spend less time with friends, eat out less, have more financial worries, but be happier overall. Parents-to-be expect less change than college students overall, and college students expect somewhat less change than high school students. Thus, parents-to-be were found to have the most information on child development, the most confidence in their ability to care for a child, and the most positive attitude toward children and parenthood. It is suggested that these findings may indicate that parenthood education courses should be offered in the high schools and colleges to increase students' knowledge in these areas and help them make more informed decisions about whether and when to become parents. (The questionnaire used is appended.) (Author/BH)
Descriptors: Attitudes, Child Development, Child Rearing, College Students, Educational Research, Expectation, High School Students, Knowledge Level, Parent Education, Parent Role, Parenthood Education, Parents, Postsecondary Education, Questionnaires, Research, Secondary Education, Self Evaluation, Speeches, Surveys
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Austin Independent School District, TX. Office of Research and Evaluation.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 8-12, 1979)