ERIC Number: ED190215
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Sex Differences in Causal Attributions of Parenting Performance.
McBride, Angela Barron; Black, Kathryn Norcross
This study explores the attribution patterns of undergraduate students for females and males who performed parenting tasks traditionally defined as feminine. A total of 136 men and 136 women were randomly assigned to one of eight conditions and were presented with stories of parent-child interactions which varied in terms of the success or failure of the interaction, the sex of the parent, and the sex of the child. The story of the successful parent emphasized nurturant-authoritative qualities described as characteristic of the parents of energetic-friendly preschoolers, while the unsuccessful parent displayed authoritarian-nonsupportive behaviors linked with conflicted-irritable preschoolers. On a seven-point scale, students rated the importance of 22 attribution items for providing an explanatory account of the parent's performance. Factor analysis and analysis of variance were used to reduce success/failure attributions to more basic components and to identify relationships among resulting factor scores. Several main effects for Sex of Respondent and Sex of Parent were found. Males cited external attributions, such as faults of the child, in accounting for parental failure. Females assigned Intrinsic Qualities, such as parent's ability, effort, love and education, as explanations for parental success. Mothers, but not fathers, were perceived to be influenced by family relationships. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (87th, New York, NY, September 1-5, 1979).