ERIC Number: ED308004
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
How Mothers Explain Their Role in Fostering Their Children's Learning: An Attributional Analysis.
Melson, Gail F.; And Others
Goals of this study were to: (1) assess mothers' perceptions of their role in fostering their preschooler's cognitive learning; (2) examine attributions used by mothers to explain why they experience ease or difficulty helping their preschooler learn; and (3) relate maternal perceived level of ease/difficulty to attributions for the reasons underlying ease or difficulty in the fostering role. Subject were 69 mothers of preschool children who were 3 years of age or older. Each interviewed mother completed a demographic information sheet and three measures: a Perceived Ease/Difficulty at Cognitive Tasks Measure, a checklist for Attributions for Cognitive Task Difficulty, and a checklist of Attributions for Cognitive Task Ease. Findings indicated that the sample of mothers generally viewed the task of fostering their child's learning as a relatively easy one. As predicted, different attributions were invoked to explain situations in which helping the child to learn was easy or difficult. In general, mothers endorsed more attributions for easy than for difficult situations. They tended to attribute difficult situations to parent or unstable causes and easy situations to child and stable causes. In particular, stable child causes as sources of task difficulty were avoided. Systematic group differences were found between mothers perceiving ease and those perceiving difficulty in helping their child learn. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Kansas City, MO, April 27-30, 1989).