ERIC Number: ED367649
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Pre-Service Teachers' Expectations for Children from Different Family Structures.
Grymes, Joanna M.; And Others
Previous research, conducted when divorce was still relatively atypical, indicated that teachers have lower expectations for children from divorced families than for children from intact families. The purpose of this study was to identify current attitudes of preservice teachers toward children from different family structures. Student teachers (N=85) were asked to identify their perceptions of children in 4 family structures: (1) an intact family; (2) a divorced-single parent; (3) a never-married single parent; and (4) a divorced, gay parent family. It was hypothesized that the intact family and the divorced family would be perceived more positively than the less common family structures. The student teachers completed a questionnaire comprised of vignettes followed by 30 adjectives--half positive and half negative. Findings indicated that perception of the stigma of divorce on children has lessened; divorced, single-parent families had the most positive characteristics; the child seen most consistently in a negative light was from a never-married family; and surprisingly, the child in a gay household was described more positively overall than the child in an intact family. The limited nature of the sample, primarily rural and possibly naive concerning societal changes in family structure, is emphasized. (Contains 19 references.) (LL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, November 12-16, 1993).