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ERIC Number: ED140980
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Mar
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Child's Development of the Concept of Family.
Moore, Nancy V.; And Others
Two basic concerns of this study were to discover if cognitive level affects a child's understandings about family and to explore the effects of social learning factors on a child's understandings of family. Subjects were 28 boys and girls at each of the three higher Piagetian cognitive levels who were each given a newly constructed interview focusing on their concepts of family. The children were from University-affiliated families. Half of each group was from intact families and half from divorced families. Piagetian cognitive level was shown to have the strongest influence on the concept of family, which could be described in terms of three levels of knowing: (1) rigid definitions of family roles and aspects according to direct observations; (2) emphasis on categorical status and generalized normative functions; (3) consideration of family aspects and roles in the light of purposes and intentions. The first level appeared to be composed of only domestic function, biological, and residence factors, with emotional, legal, and social factors developing with cognitive level. Girls showed some advancement of concept over boys, and more often referred to personal proximity factors. Children from divorced families mentioned emotional factors more, listed more activities for adults, and used membership as a criterion for family less than children from intact families. All children considered pictures of two "parents" and a child to show families, but only three-quarters thought that an elderly couple was a family, and just two-thirds said that a young couple was a family. About one-half of the children said that a picture showing a single parent and a child did not show a family. There was some evidence that the latter assertion was more often made by children from intact families than by those from divorced families. (Author/MS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (New Orleans, Louisiana, March 17-20, 1977)