ERIC Number: ED319505
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Through the Eyes of Children: A Comparative Study of Children's Perceptions of Parental Roles According to Three Types of Family Structures.
Shelley, Ena M.; And Others
A pictorial interview with indirect questioning techniques was used to examine the effects of family structure on children's perceptions of parental roles. A total of 121 4-year-olds participated. Interviews focused on caregiving, companionship, and housekeeping, and compared families headed by single custodial mothers, single custodial fathers, and married parents. A Chi-square analysis of the data suggested that children's perceptions of parental roles were independent of family structure. Housekeeping and caregiving were viewed as parts of the mother's role by children in all three family structure groups. Children living with single parents tended to view companionship as part of a mother's role, while children living with married parents believed companionship was shared by both mother and father. Results recommend the childrearing practices of: (1) encouraging boys and girls to engage in all types of play activities; (2) providing nonsexist equipment, toys, and materials; (3) providing positive male role models by encouraging men to enter the field of early childhood education; and (4) providing support to both mothers and fathers as competent partners in the development of their children. (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 National Association for the Education of Young Children (Atlanta, GA, November 2-5, 1989).