ERIC Number: ED196795
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Group Interaction and Sex Role Orientation: A Comparative Analysis by Sex and Mother's Achieved Role.
Tomeh, Aida K.; Vasko, Catherine
This paper examines the role of parents and friends (reference groups) in forming college students' sex-role orientations. Emphasis is placed on the mother's domestic, parental, and achieved (professional/occupational) role and on the mother's modeling transmission effect on her daughter's and son's sex-role attitudes. The hypothesis is that parents are more important than friends in determining sex-role attitudes. Data are based on a random sample of 659 students in a middle-sized, mid-western university. Students were directed to respond to questions regarding the number of best friends, frequency of contact with friends, personality disposition, self-fulfillment goals, frequency of home visits, duration of stay at home, contact with parents by letter and telephone while at college, parental educational level and socioeconomic status, mother's occupation, mother's sex-role outlook, and allocation of household responsibilities. Findings indicated that, as hypothesized, males and females responded differently to parental role modeling (males considered their mothers as equal to their fathers and nontraditional if they worked outside the home, whereas females considered their mothers as more or less traditional because of their life styles at home, regardless of whether their mothers also worked outside the home). Findings also showed that interaction with friends in a nonfamilial milieu exposes students to a wide variety of attitudes and life styles where sex-role equality is supported. These attitudes tend to temper rather than change sex-role attitudes formed at home, and mothers generally play a traditional role within the home. The conclusions are that parental interaction is generally more important than peer associations in influencing sex-role orientation and that maternal attributes provide a different model of behavior for daughters and sons. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Ohio Council on Family Relations (Westerville, OH, March, 1980).