ERIC Number: ED237209
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
"Don't Act Ugly!": Parents' Attractiveness-Based Judgments of Preschool Children.
Tapp, Elizabeth; Downs, A. Chris
Parents' reactions to the attractiveness of children and the influence of children's gender on parents' reactions were investigated. It was expected that, when rating attractive children, parents would give higher evaluations and have greater expectations than when rating unattractive children. It was further expected that parents would exhibit gender-based differences in their evaluations. Participating were 20 male and 33 female parents of preschool and elementary school children. A supplemental group of 38 male and 37 female nonparent adults was included for comparison purposes. Each participant read four short dialogues to which a color photograph of a preschool child was attached. Dialogues depicted children engaged in high or low rates of activity, friendliness, independence, aggression, and honesty. The photographs depicted equal numbers of male and female children with no obvious disfigurements; in addition, none of the children wore glasses. Subjects were asked to rate each child according to a 36-item attribution questionnaire that included nine items assessing raters' expectations of the child's future success. Analyses of variance yielded numerous results. Overall, findings provided evidence that some differential attributions were made of attractive and unattractive preschoolers. This was especially so when children were depicted as acting cooperatively and in a nonaggressive, friendly manner; when children were depicted as dishonest, cruel, or antisocial, attractiveness was less important. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Physical Attractiveness
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association (San Antonio, TX, April 21-23, 1983).