ERIC Number: ED381818
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Communication in Mediating the Difference between Children's Expecations about and Experiences of Parent-Child Relationships: Children's Models of Relationships.
Dixson, Marcia D.
A study investigated three propositions concerning parent-child relationships: (1) that parent-child relationships influence/build children's relational models; (2) that subsequent relationships may alter those models; and (3) that communication is a means through which children can reconcile these differences. About 90 elementary-aged children participated. First, they wrote letters to their parents in school. Second, a packet was sent home to be filled out by the parents. Third, children were interviewed by an interviewer unaware of the study's hypotheses. Results showed that the difference between a child's model and his/her reports of the actual parent-child relationship will be negatively related to the quality of everyday communication reported in the parent-child relationship. Also, the difference between a child's model and his/her reports of the actual parent-child relationship will be negatively related to the level of conversation orientation. This study calls for speculation and exploration of the possible links between family communication processes and the reasoning processes of children, especially about social events such as relationships. The finding that a strong conversation orientation is linked to less difference between children's expectations and experience of parent-child relationships should reassure parents who are trying to let children do their own thinking. (Contains two tables of data and 22 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Child Expectations
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (80th, New Orleans, LA, November 19-22, 1994).