ERIC Number: ED321893
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Mar
An Analysis of Adult-Child Interaction Patterns in Diverse Black Families.
Wilson, Melvin N.; And Others
This study investigated the effect of family structure and grandmother's residence on familial and adult-child interaction and patterns of conversation during evening meals. A total of 50 black families participated in four videotaped sessions. The unit of analysis was a randomly selected 2-minute interval during which speakers were identified. A contingency table analysis that controlled for family structure was computed to compare the likelihood of adult-adult, adult-child, child-adult, and child-child speakerships. In all family situations, mothers were the center of conversations. Findings indicated that children tended to interact more often with mothers than with anyone else, and less often with each other. Mothers interacted more often with children, except in single-parent-with-grandmother families, in which adult-adult patterns were more frequent. The dyadic asymmetric interaction patterns in which two family members completely dominated conversations were evident in the single-parent-with-grandmother families. The focal asymmetric interaction pattern in which a single family member was the focus of attention was found in single-mother-alone families. It is concluded that additional research on the content of interaction patterns should be conducted. Communication styles can be used in the process of determining the quality of family relations in different family types. Cited are 42 references. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY.; Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Conference on Human Development (11th, Richmond, VA, March 29-31, 1990). Last few pages of figures may not reproduce well.