ERIC Number: ED205269
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Young Children's Knowledge of Parental Caregiving Behaviors.
Eder, Rebecca A.
Preschool children's knowledge of adult caregiving behaviors was examined with a sample of 14 middle-class, Caucasian boys and girls between the ages of 24 and 27 months. Each child's caregiving behavior in a laboratory environment containing dolls, toy animals, and toy objects, while accompanied by his or her mother, was recorded independently by two observers. Videotapes were made of the play sessions which were 20 minutes in length. Observers recorded the following seven pre-defined caregiving activities: bathes, dresses, diapers, feeds, grooms, puts to bed, and shows affection. Additional observations of the detail with which children performed the behaviors were recorded from the videotape. All 14 children exhibited two or more of the caregiving behaviors; 13 exhibited three or more; and 11 exhibited four or more. Though there were no significant sex differences in the number of children exhibiting caregiver behaviors, girls displayed the first caregiving behavior significantly earlier in the session than boys. The children's caregiving behavior was characteristically highly detailed, not rudimentary. These results contradict previous findings that children do not demonstrate knowledge of others until they are 4 or 5 years old. (In conclusion, it is recommended that social understanding should be studied in the context of social interactions, and some difficulties in using social behavior as a measure of social cognition are pointed out.) (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Naturalistic Studies
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Conference on Human Development (6th, Alexandria, VA, April 17-19, 1980).