ERIC Number: ED415999
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Jan
Differentiating among Measures of Parenting Behavior in Two Studies of Mothers and Their Preschoolers: The Role of Informant and Context.
Zaslow, Martha J.; Berlin, Lisa J.; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne; Coiro, Mary Jo; Spiker, Donna; Moore, Kristin A.; Blumenthal, Connie; Brown, Brett
Two studies suggested that measures of parenting behavior should be differentiated according to source of information (maternal report, interviewer rating) and the context (naturally occurring situation, structured situation). Study 1 used data from an interview portion of the JOBS Child Outcomes Study, whereby mothers and interviewers documented their perceptions of maternal behavior in interaction with their preschool children. This subset of data documented the family circumstances of 790 low-income single African American mothers of preschool children. In the current analysis, the interviewer ratings and maternal reports were used to construct parenting indices in order to compare the two measures and their relative importance in stimulation, maternal warmth, and discipline. Measures were also taken of child development in receptive language abilities and personal maturity. Results indicated that interviewer report of maternal warmth seemed to be particularly important in predicting child development. Study 2 used data from the Infant Health and Development Program, and compared measures of spontaneous parent behavior to measures of parent behavior elicited in a structured setting. Interviews using a modified HOME inventory test with 486 white and African American families comprised the structured component. The videotaped spontaneous setting was a problem-solving task for the child which required the mother's assistance. This comparison found that predictions about child development varied with the context of the measures used, and the variance was different for each racial group. (Nine tables detail survey questions and statistical analyses of data. Contains 29 references.) (DW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Child Trends, Inc., Washington, DC.