ERIC Number: ED110180
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Mothers Don't Have Long Hair: An Exploratory Study of Preschool Perceptions of Mother.
Denne, Joan M.
A class of preschoolers, aged 44-63 months and grouped according to age, sex, sibling position, family size and the occupation of each parent, were the subjects of a 2-part study to examine preschoolers' perceptions of mothers. In the first part of the study, each child was shown 4 sets of pictures depicting a variety of possible mother figures. The child was asked, "Which of these are mothers?" with no limit on the number of choices made. The findings suggest that age of the depicted mother was the most important perceptual detail and that the 'composite mother' constructed from the most often chosen pictures in each set was a middle-aged women with medium-length hair holding her child. The number of choices made ranged from 3-11 out of a possible total of 12. It is suggested that variability and number of perceptual details which contribute to a child's concept of 'mother' is a representative measure of his conceptual development. In the second part of the study, each child was asked to draw a picture of a mother. The picture analysis suggests that: (1) boys and young children perceive mothers as more corrective than girls and older children, (2) children from blue-collar families perceive mothers as more supportive and more feminine than children from white-collar families do, and (3) childrens' perceptions of maternal role become broader with increasing age. (GO)
Descriptors: Abstract Reasoning, Age Differences, Child Language, Middle Aged Adults, Mothers, Parent Child Relationship, Parent Role, Perception Tests, Perceptual Development, Physical Characteristics, Preschool Children, Preschool Education, Semantics, Sensory Integration, Sex Differences, Sex Stereotypes, Visual Perception
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Northeastern Illinois Univ., Chicago.