ERIC Number: ED307314
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Causal Attributions as Predictors of Academic Achievement in Father-Absent Children.
Salzman, Stephanie A.
The purpose of this study was to examine the potential impact of maternal attributions and self-attributions on the academic achievement of father-absent children in comparison to commonly identified family interaction and demographic variables. Subjects included 33 male and 34 female father-absent sixth graders (mean age of 11.6 years) and their single mothers living in a metropolitan area of southeastern Idaho. The sample included Black, American Indian, and White students. On the average, fathers had been absent from the home for 34 months as a result of divorce, separation, or desertion. Thirty of the mothers had sole legal custody, while the remainder had either joint legal or physical custody of their children. Demographic variables included within the scope of the study were socioeconomic status, mother's and father's educational levels, sex of the child, and mother's occupation. Family interaction variables included the mother-father relationship, father-child contact, and mother-child contact. To assess causal attributions, each mother-child pair was asked, during a home interview, about the child's school successes and failures. Then, each mother and child completed separate attribution scales. Multivariate analyses of variance were conducted to investigate whether there were significant differences in causal attributions by gender of the child, maternal occupation, or custody arrangement. Results indicate that father-child contact, mother attributions for the child's success, and the child's attributions for success account for a significant portion of the variance in academic achievement of father-absent children. A 45-item list of references is provided. (TJH)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Attribution Theory, Educational Attainment, Elementary School Students, Fatherless Family, Grade 6, Intermediate Grades, Mother Attitudes, Occupations, Parent Influence, Parent Student Relationship, Predictor Variables, Self Concept, Sex Differences, Socioeconomic Status, Unwed Mothers
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 Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).