ERIC Number: ED338394
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-19
Parental Beliefs about Development, Parental Attributions and Child Development.
Peet, Susan H.; Melson, Gail F.
This study examined the relationship between parents' general beliefs about child development and parents' beliefs regarding their child's performing a hypothetical developmental task with ease or with difficulty. The relation of these beliefs to the children's development was also considered. These relationships were examined separately for mothers and fathers. Sixty families, each with a 3-year-old child, participated in the study. The Beliefs About Development Questionnaire was used to assess parents' general beliefs regarding the nature of children and how they change over time. Parents were asked to prioritize explanations to 30 questions about various aspects of child development in a forced choice format. The Parental Attribution Style Questionnaire was used to determine parents' attributions. Children's receptive vocabulary was measured by the revised Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and the Preschool Inventory was used to measure children's overall development. When patterns of association regarding parents' generalized beliefs about development and child development were examined without differentiation of the sex of the child, no significant patterns of association emerged. However, when detailed analyses were conducted separately for mothers and fathers with sons, and mothers and fathers with daughters, significant relationships emerged. Findings concerning specific beliefs about development suggest that there tends to be a belief about the cause of the child not performing the task which makes the child, not the parent, responsible for the failure. Findings indicated that in group analyses, mothers and fathers did not differ significantly in generalized beliefs about development. But when patterns of association were analyzed, many associations differed depending on the sex of the parent. (SH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).