ERIC Number: ED250084
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Mother-Toddler Interaction and Maternal Perception of Child Temperament in Two Ethnic Groups: Chinese-American and European-American.
Smith, Sheila; Freedman, Daniel G.
A study was conducted to compare experiential features of mother/toddler interaction and maternal perception of toddler temperament in two ethnic groups: Chinese-Americans and European-Americans. Subjects were 16 mother/toddler dyads with five girls and three boys in each group matched for sex, age, and birth order. Caucasian mothers were native-born Americans of European background with high school educations; their husbands worked in nonprofessional occupations. Chinese mothers were of Cantonese background with an average of 7 years residence in the United States and 10 years of schooling; none was fluent in English and all spoke Cantonese in the home. A teaching/learning task and a free-play session were videotaped in the subjects' homes. Toddler temperament questionnaires were completed by mothers after the home visit. In general, findings suggest that during toddlerhood the Caucasian mother/child system affords children considerably more experience as self-assertive agents than does the Chinese system. Chinese toddlers' experience during interactions can be described as comparatively passive. However, Chinese mothers seem to perceive their toddlers as relatively noncompliant and appear to have a greater sensitivity to resistant behavior; their interaction styles impose considerable limitations on child autonomy. Despite Chinese mothers' tendency to assess their toddlers as less adaptable, most of these mothers gave their toddlers global ratings of "easier than average." (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Social Interaction
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Detroit, MI, April 21-24, 1983).