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Person perception processes in child rearing Theemes, Tracy 1989

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PERSON PERCEPTION PROCESSES IN CHILD REARING by TRACY THEEMES B.A., University of Windsor, 1982 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGY We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA July 1989 (c) Tracy Theemes, 1989 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of COV JUH S><2 U t H Q VS\J>C_V>CAQ C\ U The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT This study explored perception processes of c h i l d rearing. A sample of parents of both special needs and typical children enrolled in preschool c h i l d development centres operating in the Vancouver, B. C. Lower Mainland region was asked to complete the Maryland Parent Attitude Scale (MPAS), the Parenting Stress Index (PSI), and a demographic questionnaire. There were no s i g n i f i c a n t correlations found between parental attitudes about c h i l d rearing (MPAS) and their perception of their c h i l d , parents' perceptions of themselves as parents, or parents' perception of their relationship with their c h i l d . As well, there were no s i g n i f i c a n t differences between responses of parents of special needs children and parents of typical children. Post hoc multiple regression analyses however, revealed a number of s i g n i f i c a n t and interesting relationships. Results of the multiple regression analyses showed that fathers' rejecting and mothers' protecting c h i l d rearing attitudes decreased as the number of children in their family increased. It was also found that mothers perceived their children and themselves as parents more negatively than fathers. In addition, fathers' i i i occupations as measured by the Blishen index (1987) were po s i t i v e l y related to their perceptions of their c h i l d . Of particular interest was the outcome that male children were repeatedly viewed more negatively by their parents. As well, parents of sons saw themselves as parents and their relationship with their c h i l d more negatively than parents of g i r l s . These results suggest that the psychological and sociological aspects of c h i l d rearing and the parent c h i l d relationship need to be assessed simultaneously. Although the expectations and cognitions of parents are an important area of study, the importance and integral nature of s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l , gender and socioeconomic variables cannot be ignored in formulating hypotheses and designing research in this f i e l d . iv TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i TABLE OF CONTENTS iv LIST OF TABLES v i CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1 Parent as Interpreter 5 Person Perception 6 The Role of the Perceiver 8 Research Questions 10 CHAPTER TWO REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 11 Attitude and Perception 11 Parental Perception 12 Parents' Self Perception 15 Parents' Reports of Child Behavior 17 Attitude 21 Parental Attitude 22 Child Development Outcomes 24 Socio-economic Status 28 Special Needs Children 29 Summary 32 Hypotheses 33 V CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY 35 Hypotheses Restated 35 Sample 37 Instruments 38 Parenting Stress Index 38 Maryland Parent Attitude Survey 42 Control Variables 45 Measurement of Socioeconomic Status 46 Data Co l l e c t i o n 48 Design 49 Method of Analysis 50 CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS 51 Characteristics of the Sample 51 Dis t r i b u t i o n of Dependent Variables 55 Research Hypotheses 56 Post Hoc Analyses 63 CHAPTER FIVE DISCUSSION 75 Review of the Results 75 Discussion of Post Hoc Analyses 76 Implications of the Findings 81 Suggestions for Further Research 83 Conclusion 88 REFERENCES 90 APPENDIX 107 v i LIST OF TABLES TABLE PAGE 1 Frequency and Percentages of Catagorical Data 52 2 Frequency, Percentages and Means of Mothers and Fathers Education 54 3 Means, Standard Deviation and Range of Dependent Variables 55 4 Correlations Between MPAS and PSI Child Perception Scores 57 5 Correlations Between MPAS and PSI Parent Perception Scores 59 6 Correlations Between MPAS and PSI Relationship Perception Scores 61 7 Anova Summary Table 62 8 Mean MPAS and PSI Scores for Parents of Typical and Special Needs Children 64 9 Multiple Regression of Sex of Child, Father's Occupation, D i s c i p l i n a r i a n , and Rejecting MPAS Scores on PSI Child Perception Scores 66 10 Multiple Regression of Sex of Child, Father's Occupation, Protecting, and Indulgent MPAS Scores on PSI Child Perception Scores 67 v i i 11 Multiple Regression of Sex of Child, Father's Occupation, D i s c i p l i n a r i a n , and Rejecting MPAS Scores on PSI Parent Perception Scores 69 12 Multiple Regression of Sex of Child, Father's Occupation, Protecting, and Indulgent MPAS Scores on PSI Parent Perception Scores 70 13 Multiple Regression of Sex of Parent, Father's Occupation, D i s c i p l i n a r i a n , and Rejecting MPAS Scores on PSI (Total) Parent Perception of Relationship Scores..72 14 Anova Summary Table 73 15 Mean PSI Child Perception Scores 74 1 CHAPTER ONE Introduction Child rearing is not a technical term with precise significance. It refers generally to a l l the interactions between parents and their children. These interactions include the parents* expressions of attitudes, values and b e l i e f s as well as their caretaking and training behavior. S o c i o l o g i c a l l y speaking, these interactions are one separable class of events that prepare the c h i l d , i n t e n t i o n a l l y or not, for continuing his l i f e (Sears, Maccoby, & Levin, 1957, p. 457). Child rearing and i t s import to society as a whole has long been acknowledged (Bossard & B o l l , 1966; Kurian, 1986). Parenting has gained increased status as a fundamental issue in the study of the family and society as a whole (Seefeldt & Barbour, 1986). Child rearing however, has become an increasingly complex issue both for researchers to understand and for parents to undertake. The methods and manners of c h i l d rearing have evolved into a research-worthy topic (Sears et a l . , 1957). In short, c h i l d rearing is a family issue and the family has become a s o c i a l issue. Of pa r t i c u l a r interest is the question, "How much influence do parents r e a l l y have?" (Polster & Dangel, 1984), or more importantly, "Who a f f e c t s whom?". Conventionally, parents have been held responsible for their children's upbringing, not to mention their eventual success or f a i l u r e (measured in c u l t u r a l terms), as adults (Brim, 1959). Modern researchers and therapists have fortunately tempered this stance with an increased understanding and recognition of the complex nature of family dynamics (Sigel, Dreyer, & McGillicudy-De L i s i , 1984). Parents and children a l i k e are seen as af f e c t i n g both each other and the larger whole. H i s t o r i c a l l y , the c h i l d has been viewed as a product of the mother's behavior (Belsky, 1981). The chil d ' s development was believed to be dependent upon the mother's a b i l i t y to f u l f i l l her infant's needs, this f u l f i l l m e n t leading to trust (Antonousky, 1959). Trust was the basis for the establishment of a secure attachment bond and this bond was the foundation of the s o c i a l i z a t i o n and the developmental process (Lewis & Fiering, 1978). The assumption underlying this approach was that the c h i l d was a passive being who was being molded by parental influences, a theory which can be traced back to the 17th century philosopher John Locke (Lytton, 1980, B e l l , 1968). This concept of the infant strengthened by such theorists as Freud (1945) and Erikson (1963) who saw the mother as exclusively responsible for their c h i l d ' s behavior and long term development. At f i r s t glance i t does seem plausible that parents exert such a powerful influence on their young. However, Be l l (1968, 1977) points out that even the most helpless newborns exert a powerful influence on their parents. The cry of a newborn alone i s a such a compelling force that i t commands response from i t s caretakers and can provoke behaviors ranging from loving care to infant battering (Bell & Chapman, 1986; Trickett & Kuczynski, 1986). Research on the infancy period has dramatically documented the active p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the infant in their relationship with their parents ( B e l l , 1971; Harper, 1971; Lytton, 1982; Martin 1975; Sameroff & F e i l , 1985; Thomas & Chess, 1977; Yarrow & Scott, 1971) . The younger the c h i l d , the less l i k e l y i t i s that they are consciously c o n t r o l l i n g parent behavior to achieve c e r t a i n ends. The quality and extent of intentional behavior does, however, increase with age (Bell & Harper, 1977; Maccoby & J a c k l i n , 1983). Lytton (1980) summarized that although r e c i p r o c i t y and mutuality of influence are apparent, " i n no instance i n any of these behavior systems does the c h i l d exert a u n i l a t e r a l influence on his parents" (p.281). 4 B e l l (1968) in his landmark, paper on c h i l d e f f e c t s posited that i n any interaction between parent and c h i l d we can only speak of an event sequence. Only experimentally, for the purposes of elucidating interactional e f f e c t s , can c h i l d e f f e c t s and parent e f f e c t s be isolated. He states that "no implication about o r i g i n of the behavior need be drawn...since such studies can take as their s t a r t i n g point any behavior which is available at the time in the repertoire of parent or c h i l d " (p.82). Later, B e l l (1971) elaborates, "Child behavior i s seldom an independent variable, parent behavior a dependent variable, even i f the c h i l d i s acknowledged by a formal place in theories" (p.63). Extending his work from c h i l d e f f e c t s to an i n t e r a c t i o n a l i s t perspective. B e l l (1979) further asserts that: The basic p r i n c i p l e underlying reciprocal influence in development a r i s i n g from parent-offspring interaction i s that of a moving b i - d i r e c t i o n a l system in which the responses of each participant serve not only as the stimuli for the other but also change as a r e s u l t of the same stimulus exchanges, leading to the p o s s i b i l i t y of altered response on the part of the other (p.822). Moreover, this reciprocal interaction i s not a s t a t i c process. It is a constantly evolving dynamic, as 5 the c h i l d and family change over time (Thomas & Chess, 1977; Schaffer & C o l l i s , 1986). Bell (1981) concludes that the f i e l d i s ready to incorporate the conceptualization of the "thinking" versus the "puppet" parent. Cognitions of both parent and c h i l d need to be accounted for now that we have a better appreciation of the complex role attitudes play in behavior (Kelman, 1974). B e l l states that "we may now be ready to return to studies of parental attitudes toward c h i l d rearing that at one time appeared to be so unproductive" (1981, p.300). Parent As Interpreter Clarke-Stewart (1978) concurs that information about how parents think and f e e l , their attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge, about c h i l d rearing are important data which offer a context for understanding their behavior. Investigations of the f u l l chain of parent a t t i t u d e -parent behavior-child response can contribute to our understanding of c h i l d development. "We need to look at c h i l d e f f e c ts on parental attitudes, not just the reverse; relations among parental attitudes, parental behavior, and c h i l d behavior are r e c i p r o c a l , and should be studied from that perspective" (p.62). Stolz (1967) asserts that parents operate within a milieu of psychological pressures. Any parent-child i n t e r a c t i o n sequence is comprised of the parent with their immediate 6 urges, goals, values, personality c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , past experiences, perceptions and attitudes about c h i l d rearing and the c h i l d with their own urges, values, goals, b e l i e f s and personality c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . The parent-child interaction may be i n i t i a t e d by either the c h i l d or the parent. "In either case, the parent acts and this act may be labeled a child-rearing practice" (p.279) . Person Perception W.I. Thomas (1928) argues that any s i t u a t i o n involves: 1. the objective r e a l i t y i n which the individual acts 2. the pre-existing attitudes of the i n d i v i d u a l , which at any given time influence behavior, and 3. a perceptual d e f i n i t i o n of the s i t u a t i o n which is comprised of both the conception of and attitude toward a pa r t i c u l a r set of circumstances (Thomas & Thomas, 1928). Bates and P e t i t (1981) stress that how a parent perceives a c h i l d may have important effects on how the parent responds. In fact, parent perceptions are an integral part of the s o c i a l and emotional r e a l i t y of the parent-child dyad (Bates, 1983). Schneider, Hastorf, and Ellsworth (1979) provide the theory upon which this investigation i s based. They assert that perception i s not just the meaning assigned to sensory stimuli but i s a process demanding active involvement on the part of the perceiver who selects and categorizes, interprets and in f e r s , to organize their sensory world. They affirm that person perception is not just a sensory process but one which e n t a i l s complex i n f e r e n t i a l factors as well. Our experiences of other people are meaningful and have s t a b i l i t y . As well, we place structure on our perceptions of others by placing separate instances of their behavior in common categories. The perceiver must structure the behavior ; i t s e l f which i s continuous, find the relevant units or divide i t into separate components, and la b e l , code or categorize the behavior. In short, the perceiver must define what the actor i s doing. These researchers make the assumption that the manner in which a perceiver categorizes behavior and people influences how they then interpret the behaviors of others and consequently how they respond to the other. For instance the same behavior can be la b e l l e d p l a y f u l , f o o l i s h , or i d i o t i c . My reactions to these interpretations vary accordingly: I am entertained by playfulness, impatient with foolishness, and downright annoyed by idiocy. In essence, the perceiver plays a c r i t i c a l and active role in selecting which c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of other people to observe and interpret. In perceiving another person we focus not just on behavior but on the intents and purposes of the behavior as well. We perceive others as causal agents, infer intentions and emotional states, and deduce enduring personality t r a i t s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Schneider et a l . , (1979) state that this process i s highly relevant to the researcher "because i t is one of the most s a l i e n t outcomes of s o c i a l interaction and, by the same token, one of the major determinants of the nature of interactions" (p. 15). The role of the perceiver The perceiver's role is an active one, i f not always conscious. At every stage of the perception process from attention to long range prediction the perceiver's past experiences, prejudices, expectations, values and goals ' dictate in part, what one observes about another person, their behavior and the context i n which the behavior occurs as well as the interpretation one makes of their observations (Schneider et a l . , 1979). Newcomb (1958) augments this theoretical perspective with his i n j e c t i o n of the concept of attitudes i n the person perception process. He holds that we make our most important judgements of others in terms of their and our own attitudes. The observer attributes to the observed attitudes toward objects toward which the observer also has attitudes. This presupposes 9 s i m i l a r i t i e s between the perceiver and the perceived and Newcomb's assertion i s that these s i m i l a r i t i e s in attitudes promote interpersonal functioning and reduce individual c o n f l i c t . In short, Newcomb views attitude as a mediating variable in the perceptual process. Summary Child rearing i s the general context of this research. Within the sphere of c h i l d rearing the parent and c h i l d are seen as involved in a dynamic relationship in which both the parent and c h i l d e f f e c t each other (Bell 1977, 1979, 1981). In this study, the aspect of typical versus special needs children w i l l be used as an (albeit somewhat crude) indicator of c h i l d e f f e c t s and parents' perceptual cognitions w i l l be i l l u s t r a t i v e of parent e f f e c t s . These cognitions w i l l be framed within the context of Schneider et a l . , ' s (1979) outline of person perception theory augmented by Newcomb's (1958) delineation of attitude as an important factor in the person perception process. Given that the role of the perceiver is an active one r e f l e c t i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s in the perceiver, i t i s reasonable to infer that parents'attitudes toward c h i l d rearing (perceptual process) w i l l be an important factor in their view of their children and themselves as parents (perceptual product). 10 The p u r p o s e o f t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s t o d e t e r m i n e t h e m a g n i t u d e and d i r e c t i o n o f p a r e n t a l c o g n i t i o n s . T hese c o g n i t i v e p r o c e s s e s , c o m p r i s e d o f a t t i t u d e s a n d p e r c e p t i o n s , a r e h i g h l y r e l a t e d t o t h e way i n w h i c h p a r e n t s i n t e r a c t w i t h t h e i r c h i l d r e n , t o c h i l d b e h a v i o r , and d e v e l o p m e n t a l o u t c o m e s and i s t h e r e f o r e a v a l i d and b e n e f i c i a l l i n e o f i n q u i r y f o r t h e r e s e a r c h e r i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e s t u d y o f c h i l d r e a r i n g . R e s e a r c h Q u e s t i o n s 1. To what d e g r e e a r e p a r e n t s ' a t t i t u d e s a b o u t c h i l d r e a r i n g r e l a t e d t o t h e i r v i e w o f t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s b e h a v i o r ? 2. To what d e g r e e a r e p a r e n t s ' a t t i t u d e s a b o u t c h i l d r e a r i n g r e l a t e d t o t h e i r v i e w o f t h e m s e l v e s a s p a r e n t s ? 3. To what d e g r e e a r e p a r e n t s ' a t t i t u d e s a b o u t c h i l d r e a r i n g r e l a t e d t o t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e q u a l i t y o f t h e p a r e n t c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p ? 4. To what d e g r e e do s p e c i a l need and t y p i c a l p a r e n t s d i f f e r i n t h e i r a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d c h i l d r e a r i n g and t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e m s e l v e s a s p a r e n t s and t h e i r c h i l d ? 11 CHAPTER TWO Literature Review An attempt w i l l be made here to outline the research which relates to the formulation of this study's hypotheses. Literature l i n k i n g parental attitudes and perception processes w i l l be introduced. Both of these constructs w i l l then be more thoroughly discussed: their role i n the c h i l d rearing process and subsequently their impact on c h i l d developmental outcomes. Attitude and Perception Cohler, Weiss, and Grunebaum (1970, p.8) state that: attitudes toward c h i l d rearing permit a mother to appraise and interpret transactions involving herself and her c h i l d . To the extent that her appraisal and interpretation are incongruent with the needs or intentions of the c h i l d , her attitudes are maladaptive for the resolution of the pa r t i c u l a r issue or issues which are s a l i e n t at that time. In their research on c h i l d dependency. Sears et a l . , (1957) state that " i t i s important to keep in mind that a mother's own attitudes toward dependency influence her perception of her chi l d ' s behavior" (p.143). Becker, Peterson, Luria, Shoemaker, and Hellmer (1962) found that parents who viewed their children as aggressive at home possessed hostil e and punitive attitudes toward c h i l d rearing. Winder and Rau (1962) found that fathers of 12 popular boys maintained more positive evaluations (perceptions) of their sons' behavior, displayed attitudes indicating that they offered more supportive reinforcement, and discouraged aggressive behavior while using r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e punishment or deprivation of pri v i l e g e s . Moss (1974) found that an interview rating of newlywed women's positive perception and nurturant attitude toward babies predicted the women's behavior with their 3 month old infants about 2 years after the interview. It should also be noted that research has shown that there are no consistent differences between mothers' and fathers' attitudes (Nichols 1962; Slough, Kogan, & Tyler ,1978) or perceptions (Hollerman, Littman, Freund, & Schmaling, 1982). In conclusion, i t appears evident that there is a relationship between parental c h i l d rearing attitudes and their perception of their c h i l d . Parental Perception Dinkmeyer, Dinkmeyer, and Sperry, (1987) state that "we acquire a perception of ourselves and the world around us...to understand people's behavior, one must come to recognize the significance of the inner, subjective experience and i t s influence on a l l our decisions" (p.18). Combs (1954) concurs that a l l behavior i s a function of an individual's perceptions of their r e a l i t y at any 13 given time. People have a tendency to hear what they want to hear, see what they want to see (Desiderato, Howieson, & Jackson, 1976). People behave according to the meaning they assign to their r e a l i t y (Combs, Richards, & Richards, 1949) and to understand human behavior one must acknowledge the significance of the inner, subjective experience of the individual (Rogers, 1951). In deciphering the complexities of the parent-c h i l d relationship i t i s as important to understand what parents think about their children as i t i s to understand children's overt behavior (Yarrow & Scott, 1971; Zelco, Duncan, Barden, & Garber, 1986). How people see things and how they interpret, construe and attribute their observations affects their interpersonal interactions. The f i e l d s of s o c i a l and c l i n i c a l psychology have reaffirmed the relevance of cognitive processes in s o c i a l i z a t i o n . Moreover, there have been increasingly compelling demonstrations of how the perceiver's a t t r i b u t i o n s and expectations influence so c i a l behavior not only in the perceiver, but in the perceived (Bates, 1983). Individual differences in parents' cognitions may act as moderators of c h i l d e f f e c t s in the more complex model of ad u l t - c h i l d reciprocal interaction (Bates & P e t t i t , 1981). It was found that adults' analogue responses to an infant were related to the adult's background, attitude, and personality c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s in understandable ways (Bates & P e t t i t , 1981). Stollack, Messe, Michaels, Buldain, C a t l i n , and Paritee (1982) found that person perception biases were related to: (a) adjustment problems in their 8-9 year old children and (b) behavior that was exhibited during parent c h i l d interactions. These authors found that r e l a t i v e to other subjects, negatively biased persons tended to act i n a more authoritarian manner toward the c h i l d with whom they interacted, while p o s i t i v e l y biased subjects tended to : behave less e f f e c t i v e l y in a more antagonistic context .(a discussion task). As well, i t was found that the greater the negative bias, the more l i k e l y the parent was to display distancing behaviors toward his or her c h i l d . Parental acts connoting superior status tended to be more negatively correlated with (interpersonal perceptual style) IPS than were e g a l i t a r i a n or subordinated behaviors. In a second related study fathers of problem children were s i g n i f i c a n t l y more negatively biased than were fathers of highly adjusted children. These findings seem to suggest that perceptual biases influence parental behavior, and hence, the children's psychological development. However, the authors caution that one cannot discount the p o s s i b i l i t y that the obtained relationships between these variables were due primarily to the detrimental impact on parents' general perceptual 15 accuracy of numerous negative experiences with their own poorly adjusted c h i l d . It seems probable that the relationships between perception and behavior, and i t s outcomes are r e c i p r o c a l . Perception a f f e c t s behavior and behavior affects perception. Messe, Stollack, Watts, Peshkess, and Perlmutter (1982) investigated person perception biases and the caregiving behavior of f i r s t time parents and found that fathers* parenting competence, based on home v i s i t observations at 4, 7, and 9 months postpartum was negatively related to their degree of perceptual bias and p o s i t i v e l y related to their prenatal expectations about their infant. For fathers esp e c i a l l y , perceptual bias, measured prenatally was negatively related to subsequent parental behavior; the more biased the respondents perception, the less responsive parenting was displayed. They concluded that perceptual biases do influence parents* encounters with their children. Messe et a l . , state: "investigations of this and other important issues w i l l y i e l d useful insights into the complex processes that mediate family relations and their impact on children's psychological development" (p.5). Parents' s e l f perception Beane and Lipka (1980) assert that both self-esteem and self-concept are self-perceptions. They define s e l f -concept as the perception(s) one has in terms of the 16 attributes one possesses and the roles one plays. S e l f -esteem i s the evaluative assessment one makes regarding their roles and their perceived quality of performance. One's self-concept and self-perceptions are manifested i n almost every aspect of one's behavior and dealings with others (Epstein & Erskine, 1983; S a t i r , 1978). The parent who feels s a t i s f i e d with his own l i f e i s apt to attach less significance and focus less attention on his child's d i f f i c u l t i e s while the less s a t i s f i e d parent may be prone to judge his c h i l d more c r i t i c a l l y (Katkovsky, Preston, & Crandall, 1964). Parents operate i n a milieu of psychological pressures (Stolz, 1967). Parents not only perceive themselves as responsible for their children's behavior, they are held responsible by the so c i a l group (Goodnow, 1985). Dix and Grusec (1985) comment: Parents are enmeshed with the c h i l d in a powerful, s o c i a l , b i o l o g i c a l relationship. They are s o c i a l i z e r s , regulators, and caretakers of their children. This means that children's behavior has personal relevance to parents... and is seen as a r e f l e c t i o n on parent's competence as parents. Whether a c h i l d i s clean, aggressive, or i n t e l l i g e n t i s more important to an attributor who i s the child's parent than to one who is not. The parent role also causes parents to share emotionally their 17 children's successes and f a i l u r e s . These aspects of the parent role may exert an important influence on parents* perceptions of their children's behavior (p. 203). It i s reasonable to conclude that parents are strongly invested in their children both s o c i a l l y and emotionally (Radke-Yarrow & Kuczynski, 1983). Parents f i l t e r their experience of themselves and their c h i l d through a screen of att r i b u t i o n s and expectations. Zuckerman and Oltean (1959) found that mothers with low acceptance of s e l f and others (husband and children) scored high on the H o s t i l i t y and Rejection scales of the PARI (Parent Attitude Research Instrument). One might surmise that parents who have high expectations around c h i l d rearing (manifested by extreme c h i l d rearing attitude scores) would be more c r i t i c a l and exacting i n the parenting role and would therefore tend to have lower perceptions of themselves as parents than their more average scoring counterparts. Parents' Reports of Child Behavior Behavior rating scales are a primary source of perception data and may be more r e f l e c t i v e of the parents themselves than of the c h i l d ' s behavior (Griest, Wells, & Forehand, 1979). Teachers and parents interpret children's behaviors d i f f e r e n t l y as do mothers and fathers (Turner & Harris, 1984). In exploring the issue 18 of parent agreement of the Behavior Problem Checklist, Jacob, Grounds, and Haley (1982) found that their was very l i t t l e agreement between mothers and fathers in either disturbed or non-disturbed samples. Humphreys and Ciminero (1979) reviewed and evaluated parent report measures of children's behavior and found that they f a i l e d to correlate highly with d i r e c t observation of the chil d ' s behavior. They a r t i c u l a t e the position that parents' reports are j u s t i f i a b l e in that they are better able to a r t i c u l a t e their perceptions of the problem than the c h i l d and that their perceptions may in and of themselves a f f e c t the c h i l d ' s behavior since i t may a f f e c t the manner in which the parent interacts with the c h i l d . This i s consistent with Michaels, Messe, and Stollack (1983) who have argued that attempting to obtain "neutral" and therefore "objective" ratings of behavior avoids the complexity of the parent and c h i l d ' s involvement with each other and leaves the researcher or therapist without adequate means to understand the f u l l range of causal l i n k s i n the parent-child interaction and s o c i a l i z a t i o n process. Bates (1983) points out that the Thomas and Chess (1977) findings on children with d i f f i c u l t temperament are based upon parents' reports of their children's behavior and temperament. The descriptions of d i f f i c u l t temperament upon which these researchers rest their 19 thesis are neither v a l i d nor i n v a l i d however they are subject to the same systematic biases that influence a l l parent reporting. Bates suggests, however, that these perceptions may be more important in s o c i a l development outcome than the objective, within-the-infant factors. He argues that "seeing d i f f i c u l t temperament reports as soc i a l perceptions allows interest in both the role of o b j e c t i f i a b l e q u a l i t i e s of children and the role of cognitive processes in parents" (p.94). Hollerman, Littman, Freund, and Schmaling (1982) in using a signal approach to assessing parent's perceptions of children's behavior found that parents of normal children exhibited higher levels of s e n s i t i v i t y than did parents of problem children. As well, s e n s i t i v i t y to negative behavior in the home was negatively correlated with the rate of positive behavior in the home. In summary, these researchers state that parents of problem children appear incapable on a more basic l e v e l of seeing positive or praiseworthy behavior. Parents who cannot accurately perceive d i f f e r e n t types of behavior may not respond to them in an appropriate manner. In a previous study Stollack, Scholom, Kallman, and Satursky (1973) measured s e n s i t i v i t y of responses to children i n problem situations. Their findings suggest that parental reports may r e f l e c t long-term and generalized perceptual styles which themselves may influence the type of parental responses to the c h i l d and w i l l therefore have consequences for the c h i l d ' s development. Studies have usually tended to find positive relationships between: (a) parents' reports of affectionate or loving behavior and various indices of their children's adjustment and, (b) reports of punitive behavior and indices of child' s maladjustment (Sears et a l . , 1957). However, Michaels et a l . , (1983) found no clear cut patterns regarding parents reports of their behavior and c h i l d adjustment. However they do report that when parent and c h i l d view parental behavior s i m i l a r l y i t i s more l i k e l y that the c h i l d w i l l be able to anticipate co r r e c t l y the parent's behavior i n a particular s i t u a t i o n . Bates and P e t i t (1981) concur that parent-child perceptual agreement is related to children's behavior and adjustment. Messe, Stollack, Larson, and Michaels (1979) observed that adults with extreme negative biases i n their perceptions of the behavior of a videotaped c h i l d also acted more authoritarian toward a c h i l d i n a cooperative play task than those without the bias. In summary, i t i s apparent that parents' views of their children is both indicative of their own person perception processes and i s also related to the ways i s which they behave with their children. As well, parent report measures are not, as was once believed, an 21 objective assessment of children's behavior but a measure of parental perception. Attitude A p r o l i f e r a t i o n of d e f i n i t i o n s have been proposed for the term "attitude", in the l i t e r a t u r e (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975; Canary & Seibold, 1984). Kelman (1974) offers that attitudes a f f e c t the kind of information to which a person w i l l be exposed, the way in which that information w i l l be organized, and often (as in interpersonal attitudes) the way in which the attitude object i t s e l f w i l l behave. For this study, attitude w i l l be defined as a construct that refers to a p a r t i c u l a r psychological state that predisposes an evaluative response toward perceived objects or people (Osgood & Tannebaum, 1969). This d e f i n i t i o n was chosen because of i t s prominence and esteemed position within the attitude l i t e r a t u r e (Canary & Seibold, 1984) as well as i t s relatedness to the theoretical framework of t h i s study. As previously postulated, attitude is seen as an integral and s a l i e n t aspect of the person perception process (Newcomb, 1958). Parental attitude, s p e c i f i c a l l y , refers to a set of dispositions or tendencies involving motives, emotions, thoughts, b e l i e f s , opinions, evaluations, behavioral intentions, judgements, and values about c h i l d rearing. These attitudes w i l l be operationally defined as the 22 scores obtained on the Maryland Parent Attitude Survey (MPAS). The MPAS yiel d s four parenting p r o f i l e s and are based on parents' s e l f - r e p o r t s : D i s c i p l i n a r i a n , Indulgent, Protective, and Rejecting. Although the l i t e r a t u r e reviewed u t i l i z e s the more general attitude and parent attitude d e f i n i t i o n s , i t i s the parent attitude p r o f i l e s which are the d e f i n i t i o n a l perspective u t i l i z e d in formulating and testing our research hypotheses. Parental attitude Schaefer and B e l l (1957) in the f i r s t major investigation of parental attitudes determined that attitudes toward c h i l d rearing may be objectively measured and may be predictive of parent-child interaction and the personality development of children. These researchers then developed the Parent Attitude Research Instrument (PARI, 1958), which became the most popular tool used by researchers to assess parental attitudes concerning c h i l d rearing. The PARI was used to reveal patterns of responding which were c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of certain dimensions of parenting styles; for example, authoritarian versus democratic or punishment versus praise. Becker and Krug (1965) however, found that the PARI did not adequately control for s o c i a l d e s i r a b i l i t y sets and exaggerated education e f f e c t s . It was also 23 found to be r e l a t i v e l y unsuccessful in predicting c h i l d behavior. Although the relationship between parental attitudes toward c h i l d rearing and subsequent c h i l d rearing behaviors i s a complex one, Pumroy (1966) demonstrated that scores on the MPAS do have some bearing on behavior. Mothers who scored high on MPAS d i s c i p l i n a r i a n scales showed more di r e c t i n g and r e s t r i c t i n g behavior than those that scored low and forbidding and distancing behavior on the part of the mother was p o s i t i v e l y related to the mother's score on the rejecting scale (Pumroy, 1966). In addition, Radin and Glasser (1972) found that some scales on the PARI could f a i r l y accurately predict how nurturant the mother would be i f she were observed. In studying parental attitude. B e l l (1958) determined that context plays a key role in attitude response. In addition, research indicates that parental attitudes change as a re s u l t of l i v i n g with children in conjunction with the simple passage of time ( B e l l , 1958). Researchers representing a variety of theoretical approaches continue to study and affirm the importance of understanding parental attitudes and their influence on the developmental process of children and the health of the parent-child relationship (Barnard & Corrales, 1979; Sameroff, 1977; Schaefer & Edgerton, 1985). Although i t has been demonstrated that attitude factors have 24 considerable a b i l i t y to predict both the achievement level and the personality structures of the c h i l d (Dielman, C a t t e l l , Lepper, & Rhoades, 1971), the o r i g i n and pattern of parental attitude i s quite complex (Bossard & B o l l , 1966). We know that parental responses to their children are shaped by their own predispositions and attitudes as well as their ongoing interactions with one another (Lytton, 1982). Because these interactions take place within a highly dynamic, continuing relationship i t i s reasonable to infer that the influence is b i - d i r e c t i o n a l in i t s e f f e c t s . The concept of attitude and i t s role i n the parent-child dyad i s fundamental to this investigation. A survey of the parental attitude l i t e r a t u r e w i l l now be undertaken. Child Development Outcomes Research has c l e a r l y demonstrated that parents attitudes about c h i l d rearing are related to c h i l d development outcomes. For instance, Cohler, Weiss, and Grunebaum (1970) found that maladaptive parenting attitudes severely affected mothers' a b i l i t y to relate e f f e c t i v e l y with their children and resolve c h i l d care developmental issues and can actually impair the psychological functioning of the mother. Permissive, indulgent home environments (characterized by low d i s c i p l i n e , high indulgent, and high protective c h i l d rearing attitudes) were p o s i t i v e l y associated with preschoolers' superior throwing s k i l l s while increased jumping s k i l l s were associated with higher maternal d i s c i p l i n e (Schnabl-Dickey, 1977). There i s also substantial research on attitude and i t s relationship to c h i l d i n t e l l e c t u a l functioning. Radin and Glasser (1972) found that scores on the PARI correlated with young children's i n t e l l e c t u a l functioning. SES and maternal attitude were strongly correlated with infants' mental development (Poresky & Henderson, 1982). Mothers of the more i n t e l l i g e n t groups of children tended to be more accepting and less dominating i n c h i l d rearing attitudes than mothers of less i n t e l l i g e n t children (Hurley, 1959). Mothers of academically competent g i r l s demonstrated attitudes which were less nurturant and affectionate than the mothers of g i r l s who were less p r o f i c i e n t (Crandall, Dewey, Katkovsky, & Preston, 1964). F i l s i n g e r (1981) found that homes in which parents were held i n high respect (high on D e i f i c a t i o n measure on the PARI) but which displayed an open environment tended to have the most cognitively d i f f e r e n t i a t e d offspring. Parent attitude has also been linked to children's s o c i a l functioning. Peery, Jensen, and Adams (1985) found that parents' attitudes towards c h i l d rearing were related to the sociometric status of their preschool children. Parents of rejected and isolated children reported attitudes r e f l e c t i n g low use of praise or d i s c i p l i n e , infrequent use of threat, low s e l f confidence, low preference for young children and d e f i n i t e expectations about c h i l d behavior. Popular children were predicted by parental attitudes which re f l e c t e d a preference for young children, frequent praise by mothers, a high c h i l d orientation, and father's acceptance of intrusive behavior. Anderson (1946) found that attitudes about c h i l d rearing were closely related to the s o c i a l behavior of children as well. Parents of successful children encouraged independence, were less c o n t r o l l i n g , r e s t r i c t i v e and protective and respected their children's opinions. A s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p was found by Sheintuch and Lewin (1981) regarding degree of parental attitudes favoring control and directiveness and the c h i l d ' s levels of s o c i a l interaction, interest and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c t i v i t i e s and i n i t i a t i v e and independence. Parental indulgence and protectiveness were associated with higher scores on measures of the c h i l d ' s self-concept, vocabulary, empathy, and altruism (Turner & Harris, 1984). In essence, wel l - l i k e d children had p o s i t i v e , supportive relationships with their parents. Children of mothers scoring high on the MPAS d i s c i p l i n a r i a n used more d i r e c t i n g behavior than children 27 of low-disciplinarian mothers (Brody, 1969). As well, children of mothers scoring high on the MPAS re j e c t i n g scale engaged in s i g n i f i c a n t l y less attentive observation of the mother, were less seeking of information from the mother, engaged in more independent play had a lower rate of compliance with the mother's requests, and sought more attention, approval and praise from the mother. Becker et a l . , (1962) found a positive relationship between boys' aggressive behavior at school and mother's attitudes of h o s t i l i t y and punitiveness. As well, children who exhibited h o s t i l e and withdrawing behavior were parented by fathers expressing h o s t i l e , s t r i c t and punitive c h i l d rearing attitudes. Sears et a l . , (1957) found that the number of aggressive acts displayed by a ch i l d were l i n e a r l y related to the punitive attitude of the mother. A synthesis of thi s l i t e r a t u r e would seem to support the hypothesis that parents possessing more positive c h i l d rearing attitudes (higher scoring on the MPAS indulgent and protective scales) would tend to have positive perceptions of their c h i l d . One could further hypothesize that parents reporting more negative c h i l d rearing attitudes (higher MPAS d i s c i p l i n a r i a n or rejecting scores) would tend to be more c r i t i c a l of their c h i l d and would therefore perceive their c h i l d more negatively. Socioeconomic Status It should be emphasized at this point that research has demonstrated a strong relationship between socioeconomic status, education l e v e l and parental attitudes and perceptions. In p a r t i c u l a r , Melvin Kohn (1969) theorized that occupational conditions give r i s e to adaptive values and b e l i e f s which are transmitted d i r e c t l y and i n d i r e c t l y to their interactions with their chidren. An overview of this research w i l l now be provided. Sheintuch and Lewin (1981) found a positive relationship between the education level of the parent and the extent of permissiveness i n attitudes toward c h i l d rearing; the more educated, the less r i g i d and c o n t r o l l i n g are the parents. As well, mothers with higher verbal intelligence either express more adaptive attitudes and\or are better able to determine the adaptive position for any pa r t i c u l a r behavior. Glidewell (1961) reports that the higher the s o c i a l class of the respondent the greater the s t a b i l i t y of attitude toward c h i l d rearing. In upper classes, mothers tend to accept the most r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the behavior of their children; in the middle classes somewhat less; in the lower classes mothers accept the least amount of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Cohler, Weiss, and Grunebaum (1970) found that lower education and s o c i a l status mothers express more maladaptive attitudes regarding the appropriate control of the c h i l d ' s aggressive impulses. An emphasis on authoritarian and suppressive attitudes in the home seems to be more c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the less educated (Anderson, 1946; Sears et al.,) Scores on the authoritarian dimension of the PARI seem to be closely related to general authoritarian tendencies which in turn, are related to the education l e v e l of the mother (Zuckerman & Oltean, 1959). Conger, McCarty, Yang, Lahey, and Kropp (1984) found that demographic variables, such as low income, low education, single parent homes, were related to mother's emotional d i s t r e s s , authoritarian c h i l d rearing values and perceptions of children. Mothers of the lower educational levels tend to have less approving attitudes toward children (Schaefer & B e l l , 1958). Patterson (1982) has argued that as s t r e s s f u l l i f e conditions increase, parents increasingly perceive their children i n a negative l i g h t . Social class strongly correlates with infants' mental development. Radin and Glasser suggest that parental attitude is the mediating mechanism (1972). Special Needs Children Research on families of handicapped children has contributed s i g n i f i c a n t l y to the body of l i t e r a t u r e on c h i l d effects and the reciprocal nature of the parent-c h i l d relationship (Bell & Harper, 1977; B e l l & Chapman, 1986). The impact of the c h i l d upon the mother been well-documented (Vadasy, Fewell, Meyer, & Sc h e l l , 1984). In the present study, c h i l d t y p i c a l i t y as measured by their status as a special needs or t y p i c a l c h i l d , w i l l be employed as an indicator of c h i l d e f f e c ts in our investigation of the person perception processes i n c h i l d rearing. An introductory survey of the l i t e r a t u r e w i l l be undertaken to i l l u s t r a t e that although o v e r a l l relationships w i l l be s i m i l a r , parents of special needs children w i l l d i f f e r from parents of t y p i c a l children in both their attitudes toward c h i l d rearing and their perceptions of their c h i l d . A number of investigators have found that parents of handicapped children do experience stress l e v e l s higher than normal and this i s not necessarily correlated with the severity of the c h i l d ' s condition (Longo & Bond, 1984; Kazak & Marvin, 1984). Loyd and Abidin (1985) found that parents of handicapped children scored higher on the Child domain of the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) than other parents, indicating that these children displayed q u a l i t i e s which make parenting d i f f i c u l t . There seems to be a growing recognition i n the l i t e r a t u r e that changes in parental attitudes and perceptions are dynamically linked to the active agency of the c h i l d (Thomas, 1978). This researcher also argues that parental attitudes and responses are the product of many forces and are just as l i k e l y to r e s u l t from interaction with a s p e c i f i c c h i l d as to be responses to d i s a b i l i t y i t s e l f . Mannoni (1973) also asserts that ongoing interactions with the c h i l d are the most potent source of ongoing attitudes. This proposition is also supported by Walters and Stinnett (1971) who assert that both parents and children are engaged in a process in which expectations, perceptions and attitudes progressively change although l i t t l e is known about the process by which parents' attitudes are shaped by children's behavior. Cummings, Bayley, and Rie (1966) in a landmark study found that mothers of handicapped children demonstrated lower levels of self-esteem, greater depression, and less interpersonal s a t i s f a c t i o n than mothers of normal children. These authors concluded however,that parents of special need children are e s s e n t i a l l y normal and that their scoring ranges r e f l e c t both successful coping patterns as well as the stress involved in parenting a disabled c h i l d . B e l l and Harper (1977) observed that more intrusiveness emerged in a parental attitude questionnaire for mothers of congenitally handicapped children than for mothers of normal children, presumably indicating a parental reaction to children's limited coping a b i l i t i e s . Slough, Kogan, and Tyler (1978) found that attitudes (as measured by MPAS) of mothers of children with handicapping conditions scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower than comparison mothers on the rejecting scale and higher on the protective scale. No differences were found on the d i s c i p l i n e or protective scales. These authors concluded after a survey of the research that attitudes of parents of children with handicaps tend to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from those of parents of non-handicapped children in a variety of ways. One can confidently conclude that patterns of responding w i l l be similar in both parent groups but that special needs parents w i l l tend to have lower perceptions of themselves as parents and their c h i l d than parents of ty p i c a l children and w i l l therefore express lower perceptions of the quality of their relationship with their c h i l d . Summary It i s recognized that only experimentally, for the purposes of elucidating interactional e f f e c t s , should parent or c h i l d e f f e cts be isolated. It i s understood that only through systematic observation of the parent-c h i l d relationship can a f a i r assessment of c h i l d e f f e c t s and interactional e f f e c t s be measured. However, this exceeds the scope of our study for the present time. This research i s focusing on the person perception processes of parental attitude and perception (view) of c h i l d and s e l f as parent, in the context of c h i l d rearing. It i s f e l t that the l i t e r a t u r e supports the view that parental c h i l d rearing attitudes and perception factors are important mechanisms in the c h i l d rearing sequence as they are strongly related to c h i l d development outcomes. For the purposes of t h i s study parental attitudes toward c h i l d rearing w i l l be operationally defined as scores obtained on the Maryland Parent Attitude Survey (MPAS). Perceptions of c h i l d and s e l f as parent w i l l be defined as scores obtained on the c h i l d and parent domains (Factors I and II respectively) of the Parenting Stress Index (PSI). Hypotheses 1. There i s a s i g n i f i c a n t positive r e l a t i o n s h i p between parental c h i l d rearing attitudes and their perception of themselves as parents and their c h i l d . 2. There is a s i g n i f i c a n t positive relationship between parental attitudes about c h i l d rearing and their perception of the quality of the parent-child relationship. 3. Parents of special needs children d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y from parents of typ i c a l children i n both their attitudes toward c h i l d rearing and their perceptions of themselves as parents and their c h i l d . 35 CHAPTER THREE Methodology In this chapter, the purpose of the study and the hypotheses w i l l be restated and operationalized. A thorough description of the research instruments used to test the hypotheses w i l l then be presented. The procedures for data c o l l e c t i o n and i t s subsequent analysis w i l l also be provided. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationships between parent c h i l d rearing attitudes (independent variable) and their perceptions of themselves as parents, their c h i l d and their r e l a t i o n s h i p with their c h i l d (dependent variables). The role that having a ty p i c a l or special needs c h i l d (independent variable) plays in influencing these attitudes and perceptions (dependent variables) w i l l also be examined. Hypotheses Restated and Operationalized 1. There is a s i g n i f i c a n t positive relationship between parental c h i l d rearing attitudes and (a) their perception of their c h i l d and (b) their perception of themselves as parents. a) Scores on MPAS d i s c i p l i n a r i a n or rejecting scales w i l l be s i g n i f i c a n t l y correlated with negative perceptions of the c h i l d ( i e . , the higher the MPAS score on either the d i s c i p l i n a r i a n or rejecting scale, the higher their PSI c h i l d domain score). 36 b) Scores on MPAS indulgent or protective scales w i l l be s i g n i f i c a n t l y correlated with positive perceptions of their c h i l d ( i e . , the higher the MPAS score on either the indulgent or protective scales of the MPAS, the lower the PSI c h i l d domain score). c) Parents' attitude scores w i l l be s i g n i f i c a n t l y negatively correlated with their perception of themselves as parents - the stronger their c h i l d rearing attitudes, the lower their self-perceptions ( i e . , the higher their scores on any MPAS scale, the higher their score on the PSI parent domain). 2. There i s a s i g n i f i c a n t positive r e l a t i o n s h i p between parental attitudes about c h i l d rearing and their perception of the quality of the parent-child relationship. a) Parental c h i l d rearing attitudes w i l l be s i g n i f i c a n t l y p o s i t i v e l y correlated with their perception of the parent-child relationship (the higher the score on any MPAS scale, the higher their t o t a l PSI relationship score). 3. Parents of special needs children d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y from parents of typical children in both (a) their attitudes toward c h i l d rearing and (b) their perceptions of themselves as parents, their c h i l d , and the parent-child relationship. 37 a) Parents of special needs children w i l l have higher c h i l d rearing attitude scores and lower perceptions of their c h i l d , themselves as parents and the parent-child relationship than parents of t y p i c a l children ( i e . , parents of special needs children w i l l have higher MPAS scale scores, higher c h i l d and parent domain scores and a higher overa l l t o t a l PSI score). Sample The research sample consisted of 107 parents of children enrolled at any one of five Lower Mainland c h i l d development centers or integrated preschools operated by the Vancouver Richmond Association For Mentally Handicapped People. A t o t a l of 300 questionnaires were distributed and 107 parents returned their packages (a 36% return rate). The subjects who responded appeared to r e f l e c t the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the whole group in regard to socioeconomic status, centre attended by the c h i l d , type, sex and age of c h i l d . Although socioeconomic information i s not co l l e c t e d by the individual centers, and therefore impossible to report, each preschool was represented by approximately one t h i r d of i t s parent population. The researcher's personal knowledge of the centers' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s however, lead her to conjecture that there was a greater percentage of response from parents from two-parent homes than i n the whole group. 38 It i s recognized that as an a v a i l a b i l i t y sample our data w i l l not meet the f u l l requirements of experimental control. Kidder (1981) elaborates that subject assignment in a quasi-experimental design incorporates the naturally occurring biased selection processes that exi s t in the world. The non-random nature of these samples make i t d i f f i c u l t for the experimenter to disentangle treatment e f f e c t s from other e f f e c t s ( p a r t i c u l a r l y s election). Internal v a l i d i t y may be compromised due to biases r e s u l t i n g from d i f f e r e n t i a l recruitment of subjects (Nachmias & Nachmias, 1981). Instruments Parenting Stress Index Parents' perceptions of themselves as parents and their perceptions of their c h i l d w i l l be measured by the parent and c h i l d domains of Loyd and Abidin's (1985) Parenting Stress Index (PSI Factors II and I respectively). This instrument i s a 101-item s e l f -report questionnaire that, when both factors are taken together, measures parents perception of the quality of the relationship that they have with their c h i l d . Although i n i t i a l l y used as a screening device to i d e n t i f y a t - r i s k parents, i t also provides a means for measuring parents' perceived quality of their r e l a t i o n s h i p with their c h i l d . 39 The two domains of the PSI are as follows: 1. The 47 items of the Child domain include parents' perceptions of their c h i l d ' s adaptability, acceptability, demandingness, mood, d i s t r a c t i b i l i t y , and reinforcement of parent. High scores in thi s domain are associated with children who display q u a l i t i e s which make i t d i f f i c u l t for parents to f u l f i l their parenting roles. For parents of handicapped children t h i s domain i s t y p i c a l l y elevated above the parent c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s domain. 2. The Parent domain which contains 54 items includes parents' perceptions of the re s t r i c t i v e n e s s of their r o l e , depression, attachment, sense of competence, social i s o l a t i o n , relationship with spouse, and health. High scores i n this domain are indicative of dist r e s s in the parent's functioning. The overall sense of individuals who earn high parental domain scores i s their feeling of being frustrated, overwhelmed and inadequate to the task of parenting. R e l i a b i l i t y and v a l i d i t y The current form of the PSI i s the re s u l t of six revisions. The version used in thi s study has demonstrated high v a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y (Loyd & Abidin, 1985). The r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t s for the Child and Parent domains are .89 and .93 respectively and the r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t (Cronbach's Alpha) for both 40 domains together (quality of relationship) is .95. These c o e f f i c i e n t s indicate that there i s a high degree of internal consistency for these measures. As well, t e s t -retest r e l i a b i l i t i e s obtained from four studies strongly demonstrate the s t a b i l i t y of the PSI scales (cited in Loyd & Abidin, 1985). Construct v a l i d i t y i s the degree to which predictions based on the theoretical properties of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c being measured are actually confirmed. Abidin (1986) acknowledges that the PSI was not designed to measure temperament or c h i l d behavior but "the parent's perception of the impact of a given temperamental quality of the parent as well as a c h i l d behavior referent" (p.2). The appraisal component involved i n the experience of stress i s acknowledged and " i t i s the very combination of important c h i l d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and the parent's perception of these which enhance the c l i n i c a l u t i l i t y of the PSI" (p.2). As well, the PSI c l e a r l y acknowledges the reciprocal nature of parent-child relations and that there are parent c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , c h i l d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , and family context variables which influence the parent's a b i l i t y to respond to their c h i l d . Although other studies using this measure s p e c i f i c a l l y as an indicator of parent perception were unobtainable, an extensive l i t e r a t u r e review on behavior 41 rating scales was presented e a r l i e r in this paper. Research strongly supports the view that parent report measures are not, as was once believed, an objective assessment of children's behavior but a measure of parental perception (Bates, 1983; Griest, Wells, & Forehand, 1979; Humphreys & Ciminero, 1979). The PSI can be u t i l i z e d as a perception measure with a high degree of confidence i n i t s construct v a l i d i t y . Discriminant v a l i d i t y i s shown by demonstrating that test scores are more highly correlated with c e r t a i n c r i t e r i a than others. Groups with d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s can be defined on the basis of test measures. A multitude of findings supporting this claim are presented by Abidin (1986). Greenberg (1983, c i t e d in Loyd & Abidin, 1986) found that the PSI discriminated between her sample of mentally retarded children and the normative population. Mash (1983a) found that mothers of hyperactive children earn s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher scores than parents of normal children. Kazak (1984) reported s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher scores on PSI subscales for parents of children with spina b i f i d a versus matched comparison families. F a c t o r i a l v a l i d i t y of the PSI was investigated by three factor analyses. The sample consisted of 534 mothers of normal and c l i n i c - r e f e r r e d children. The pattern of factor loadings presented by Abidin (1986, tables 6 & 7, p. 34) "support the notion that each subscale i s measuring a moderately d i s t i n c t source of stress". Abidin also reports on a r e p l i c a t i o n of the factor analyses which determined that markedly d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l populations did not a l t e r the factor structure or r e l i a b i l i t y . Interpretation of the PSI A high total score (above the 80th percentile) is a strong indicator of stress i n the parent-child dyad and r e f l e c t s a very low parent perception of the quality of their relationship with the c h i l d . As well, parents earning exceptionally low scores (below the 15th percentile) may be either uninvolved with their c h i l d , rejecting, or paranoid. Exceptionally low or high scores are seen by these authors as indicating disturbance and necessitating professional intervention (Loyd & Abidin, 1985). I t should be noted that obvious explanations such as i n i t i a l revelation of c h i l d handicap or extreme handicaps may account for elevated c h i l d domain scores. The normal range for the tot a l score is from the 15th to the 80th percentile rank (raw scores from 185.2-277.6) Maryland Parent Attitude Survey Parental attitude w i l l be measured by the Maryland Parent Attitude Survey (MPAS) which i s a research instrument designed to measure parents' attitudes about c h i l d rearing with s o c i a l d e s i r a b i l i t y controlled 43 (Pumroy, 1966; Tolor, 1967). The MPAS consists of 95 items, requiring a forced choice response to a pair of statements. This non-ipsative test i s scored by adding the number of items chosen for each of four categories. These categories or scales are: d i s c i p l i n a r i a n , rejecting, indulgent, and protective parent attitude types. S p l i t - h a l f and test-retest r e l i a b i l i t i e s for the four scales were measured and ranged from .62 - .84 which is considered average for instruments of this nature (Tolor, 1967). Even though these scales were not independent, intercorrelations were computed. A negative relationship was found between the d i s c i p l i n a r i a n and indulgent scales and the protective and rejecting scales (Tolor, 1967). R e l i a b i l i t y analyses were computed by this author for a l l four scales and the results (Cronbach's Alpha) are as follows: (a) D i s c i p l i n a r i a n scale .75, (b) Indulgent scale .64, (c) Protective scale .68, and (d) Rejection scale .73. The v a l i d i t y of this instrument has been somewhat d i f f i c u l t to establish. It i s considered to be the best measure available with soc i a l d e s i r a b i l i t y controlled (Tolor, 1967). Scales Pumroy (1966) describes the four scales as follows: 1• Indulgent parents These parents are c h i l d centered; the c h i l d i s allowed to have their own way i n a l l matters. The c h i l d is showered with warmth and affec t i o n . While there are attempts at d i s c i p l i n e , the c h i l d knows the rules can be circumvented. The c h i l d is not encouraged to show any i n i t i a t i v e , and seldom has r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s around the house. Frequently, but for no par t i c u l a r reason other than an impulse on the part of the parent, the c h i l d i s given g i f t s and treats. 2. D i s c i p l i n a r i a n parents These parents need and expect obedience from the c h i l d . Rules are e x p l i c i t l y stated by the parents. The c h i l d knows that non-compliance w i l l r e s u l t in punishment which is carried out in a f a i r and consistent manner. This parent i s constantly pushing the c h i l d to achieve beyond their a b i l i t y , forcing them to grow up early. 3..Protective parents Protective parents are primarily concerned with ensuring that the c h i l d takes a minimum amount of r i s k s . Consequently, the parents are overly watchful of the c h i l d and always a l e r t to potential danger. These parents perform tasks for the c h i l d long beyond the time the c h i l d is capable. The c h i l d is discouraged from independent a c t i v i t y , out of fear that something w i l l happen to them. 4. Rejecting parents These parents are openly h o s t i l e toward their children. This h o s t i l i t y i s frequently reflected in 45 d i s c i p l i n e and punishment which seems to be based more of the general negative feelings of the parent than on the behavior of the c h i l d . Because of the h o s t i l i t y engendered i n the c h i l d , there i s often a feeling that children are i n c o r r i g i b l e . These parents are primarily concerned with their own a c t i v i t i e s and prefer not be bothered by children. This scale has been suggested as an indicator of emotional distance between parent and c h i l d (Brody, 1969). Control Variables Age-related issues It should be noted that parents' scores on the MPAS are not affected by the ages of their preschool children (Schnabl-Dickey, 1977; Turner & Harris, 1984). In addition, Zuckerman and Oltean (1959) found that the age of the mother bears l i t t l e r elationship to parental attitude factors. Peterson and Rollins (1987) however, caution that age of c h i l d may be a s i g n i f i c a n t factor i n identifying parents' interaction styles with their children. There i s some suggestion that the PSI stress scores earned by parent-child systems with younger children are higher than scores earned by systems with older children. Thus, Abidin (1986) suggests that the c r i t i c a l cut o f f score for high stress in families when the c h i l d i s above two years of age should be 250. 46 Measurement of Socioeconomic Status Since World War II, several socioeconomic indexes have been developed to describe and measure occupational status in Canada. Using a hierarchal structure, these indices have been constructed based on three primary variables: prestige, income, and education. Blishen's (1958) scale which was based on 1951 Census data used income level and educational status to rank 343 occupations. In a r e v i s i o n of that scale Blishen (1967) used a prestige ranking of 88 occupations to rank 320 occupations reported i n the 1961 Census. Blishen and McRoberts (1976) updated that scale using 1971 Census data with some methodological innovations relevant to the change in the national employment situation. Pineo, Porter, and McRoberts (1977) responded to the Census occupational coding system by changing their Major Groups hierarchy and a l t e r i n g the corresponding prestige codes. Blishen, C a r r o l l , and Moore (1987) i d e n t i f y three prin c i p a l methodological problems that have plagued researchers i n the construction and interpretation of socioeconomic indexes: (1) the omission of women as participants in the occupational structure u n t i l the early 1980's, (2) the v a l i d i t y of occupational prestige scores as a c r i t e r i o n variable, and (3) the lack of a 47 clear unit of analysis for the measurement of socioeconomic status. These authors adopt a strategy for c a l c u l a t i n g socioeconomic status which minimizes the role of controversial prestige scores and incorporates the cha r a c t e r i s t i c s of the entire Canadian labor force into a single index. Using the 1981 Census data, the employed labor force was grouped into 514 categories according to the Canadian C l a s s i f i c a t i o n and Dictionary of Occupations. Education and income levels were derived for each occupational category based on these data. The pooled median income for men and women across a l l 514 occupations and the net proportion of well-educated men and women were used. The socioeconomic index was based on the sum of the standard scored versions of these variables. As well, to provide continuity with previous indexes, t h i s index was c a l l i b r a t e d to the occupational prestige metric of Pineo and Porter (1967) through a regression analyses. Details on exact computational formulas are provided by Blishen et a l . (1987). For our purposes, the forementioned index i s most appropriate to our research. Occupational t i t l e w i l l be used as the indicator of each subject's current position in the Canadian occupational hierarchy. The Blishen et a l . , (1987) index provides the most current, male and 48 female based, research grounded, Canadian scale of socioeconomic status available. Data C o l l e c t i o n After permission was received from the U.B.C. Ethics Review Committee, notices were sent out by the Director of Children's Services for the Vancouver Richmond Association for Mentally Handicapped People (VRAMHP) to parents of a l l children enrolled in the five VRAMHP centers announcing and endorsing the research project. As well, verbal announcements were made at a l l the monthly parent meetings by centre supervisors. One week prior to the commencement of questionnaire d i s t r i b u t i o n a copy of the explanatory questionnaire l e t t e r was posted on each center's parent b u l l e t i n board. Appendix A contains copies of the complete questionnaire package with announcement l e t t e r s . There are two versions of the questionnaire which place the PSI and the MPAS in opposite order of each other. They were randomly assigned to package code numbers. Included i n the package was the copy of the or i g i n a l l e t t e r sent by the VRAMHP Children's Services Director, an inst r u c t i o n sheet, the instruments, and a section e n t i t l e d Family Background. This section asked for information on the age and sex of the c h i l d enrolled at the centre, age and sex of the responding parent, number of children in the home, languages spoken, number of parents in the home, and mother's and father's education, income and occupation. The researcher used parent l i s t s and assigned a number to each questionnaire package. Only the researcher had access to the code. A l l parents picked their package up from their c h i l d ' s "cubbie" at the centre. Volunteers returned i t within three weeks to a box stationed at each centre. After the f i r s t week, the researcher sent out a reminder notice to non-respondents and again asked that people c a l l i f they had any concerns or questions in f i l l i n g out the questionnaire. Design Survey research i s a research strategy that attempts to answer questions about naturally occurring phenomena. Data are collected from people i n their own setting and information i s extrapolated from their answers regarding the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the people and groups surveyed (Kerlinger, 1973). Correlational research is especially useful for exploratory studies and involves c o l l e c t i n g data on two or more variables on the same group of subjects and calcula t i n g c o r r e l a t i o n a l c o e f f i c i e n t s in order to discover and c l a r i f y relationships. Correlation c o e f f i c i e n t s are used to measure the degree of relationship and to explore possible causal factors which can be later tested experimentally (Borg & G a l l , 1983). 50 In this study, we have focused on establishing the frequencies and d i s t r i b u t i o n s of group c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s as well as the degree of relationship between attitude and perception variables. The influence of having a special needs or ty p i c a l c h i l d on attitudes and perceptions w i l l also be examined. Method of Analysis Raw data were collected i n the form of questionnaires. Information was later transcribed into numerical form and entered into the U.B.C. mainframe computer where i t was analyzed using the S t a t i s t i c a l Package for the Social Sciences, version X (SPSS X). For the MPAS and PSI, raw scores, means, standard deviations, frequencies, and percentile ranks were recorded. Pearson c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s were computed on the data i n the process of hypothesis testing. Extensive post hoc analyses consisting of Anova and multiple regressions were also undertaken. 51 CHAPTER FOUR Results This chapter reports the results of the analysis of the research data. Sections out l i n i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the sample and d i s t r i b u t i o n of the dependent variables w i l l be presented for the reader. Subsequently, each research hypothesis w i l l be restated with i t s corresponding results. The chapter w i l l close with a presentation of the post hoc analyses computed on the collected data. Characteristics of the Sample Table 1 c l e a r l y demonstrates the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the research sample. A tota l of 107 parents responded to the questionnaire. Of these, 44 were men and 63 were women. Both mothers and fathers i n each family were given questionnaire packages. To preserve the independence of their responses, data were analyzed separately for both sexes. The volunteers who answered and returned the questionnaires were primarily parents from two-parent homes (83.2%). The remainder were from one parent households (11%) or were foster families (6%). English was the f i r s t language spoken in 69% of these homes. For 24% of the families English was the second language, and i t was not spoken in 7%. 52 Table 1 Frequency and Percentages of Cataqorical Data Variable N % Sex of parent: Male 44 41.1 Female 63 58. 9 Sex of c h i l d : Male 53 49.5 Female 54 50. 5 Age of c h i l d : 1 14 13. 1 (years) 2 21 19.6 3 17 15.9 4 32 29.9 5 21 19.6 6 2 1.9 Handicap: none 43 40 . 2 mental 23 21.5 physical 17 15.9 multiple 18 16. 8 other 6 5.5 Siblings: only c h i l d 42 39. 3 oldest c h i l d 14 13. 1 youngest c h i l d 36 33. 1 middle c h i l d 14 13.1 twins 1 . 9 53 These parents received assistance from other family members or Child Development Centre s t a f f to f i l l out their questionnaires. The mean age of parents surveyed was 35.16 years with a standard deviation of 5.0 years. Ages ranged from 23 to 49 years. The mean c h i l d age of the c h i l d attending the centre ( i e . , the subject of the questionnaire) was 3.3 years, half were boys and half were g i r l s . Typical children comprised 40% of our sample and the remaining 60% had special needs. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of the children in this sample were only children, while 47% had s i b l i n g s . One of the children had a twin s i s t e r . Mothers' and fathers' education lev e l s are presented in Table 2. Both parents had a mean education level of having "some college or university". The education mode for both groups however, was elevated at level 6.00, possessing "a university degree". Mothers' mean income level was $16,000-520,000 with the mode at under $10,000. Fathers' mean earnings were s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher at $36,000-$40,000 and the mode was $21,000-$25,000. Our parent sample represented a range of socioeconomic (SES) levels as measured by Blishen (Blishen, C a r r o l l , & Moore, 1987). Mothers' SES levels ranged from 23.31 to 101.32 with a mean of 43.45 and a standard deviation of 22.22. This represents occupations from waitresses (23.31) to surgeons (101.32). 54 Table 2 Frequency, Percentages, and Means of Mothers' and  Fathers' Education Mothers Fathers N % N % Variable Education: 1. Less than grade 3 2.8 1 , 9 2. High school grad 25 23.4 14 13, . 1 3. Trades c e r t i f i c a t e 17 15. 9 17 15. 9 4. Some college/univ 9 8.4 17 15. , 9 5. Colleg/univ diploma 19 17. 8 13 12. 1 6. (Jniv degree 31 29.0 39 36. 4 7. Not applicable 1 . 9 5 4. 7 Total: 105 106 Mean: 4.07 4.54 Mode: 6.00 6.00 In addition, there were 3 students who were scored as housewives. Fathers' SES levels ranged from 22.73 to 99.74 with a mean of 47.81 and a standard deviation of 19.4. Two fathers were students. Blishen's (1987) Canadian mean score i s 42.74. 55 Distribution of Dependent Variables A l l dependent variable d i s t r i b u t i o n s are approximately normal with the exception of the indulgent scale of the MPAS which is s l i g h t l y skewed. This variable has a mean of 25.5, a mode of 21.0, a median of 25.00 and a standard deviation of 6.47. Table 3 presents a summary of a l l of the di s t r i b u t i o n s for attitude and perception variables. Table 3 Means, Standard Deviations and Range of Dependent  Variables (n=107) Variables Mean SD Range MPAS Variables; D i s c i p l i n a r i a n 18. .08 6. , 13 5--32 Rejecting 16, , 35 5. , 74 5--31 Indulgent 25. 51 6. ,47 12--43 Protective 29. , 33 4, .76 16--40 PSI Domains; Child 112.1 24.5 71-190 Parent 122.76 24.22 61-186 Total 234.87 44.71 132-347 56 Research Hypotheses  Hypothesis 1 1. a) Scores on MPAS d i s c i p l i n a r i a n or rej e c t i n g scales w i l l be s i g n i f i c a n t l y correlated with negative perceptions of the c h i l d ( i e . , the higher the MPAS score on either the d i s c i p l i n a r i a n or rejecting scale, the higher the PSI c h i l d domain score). b) Scores on MPAS indulgent or protective scales w i l l be s i g n i f i c a n t l y correlated with positive perceptions of their c h i l d ( i e . , the higher the MPAS score on either the indulgent or protective scales of the MPAS, the lower the PSI c h i l d domain score). Results Pearson c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s were calculated for a l l four attitude scales of the MPAS and the c h i l d domain of the PSI. The res u l t s are presented in Table 4. Included in this table are cor r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s , p r o b a b i l i t i e s , and the number of subjects included in each computation. Calculations are presented for mothers, fathers, and both parents together. It was predicted in the hypothesis that attitudes would be po s i t i v e l y correlated with perceptions. Overall, none of the correlations was s i g n i f i c a n t and we f a i l to reject the null hypothesis for hypotheses la) and l b ) . 57 Table 4 Correlations Between MPAS and PSI Child Perception Scores PSI Child Perception Scores Mothers Fathers Both Parents MPAS Variables D i s c i p l i n a r i a n .08 .13 .09 P = .27 p = . 20 p = . 20 n =61 n=41 n=102 Rejecting - . 12 . 14 -.01 P = . 18 p=. 20 p=. 46 n =59 n=40 n=99 Indulgent - . 10 -. 21 -.13 P = . 21 p = . 10 p=. 10 n; =61 n=41 n=102 Rejecting - . 05 .01 -.03 P = .34 p = .49 p=. 39 n =61 n=41 n=102 58 1. c) Parents' attitude scores w i l l be s i g n i f i c a n t l y negatively correlated with their perception of themselves as parents - the higher their c h i l d rearing attitudes, the lower their self-perceptions ( i e . , the higher their MPAS scale scores, the higher their score on the PSI parent domain). Results As outlined i n Table 5, Pearson c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s were calculated for mothers, fathers, and both parents together. Our hypothesis predicted that parents' perceptions of themselves as parents, PSI Parent domain scores, would be p o s i t i v e l y correlated with their c h i l d rearing attitudes, as measured by the four MPAS scales. There were no s i g n i f i c a n t correlations found for any attitude scale. We f a i l to reject the nu l l hypothesis for l c . Hypothesis 2 2. There i s a s i g n i f i c a n t positive c o r r e l a t i o n between parental attitudes about c h i l d rearing and their perception of the quality of the parent-child relationship. a) Parents' attitude scores w i l l be s i g n i f i c a n t l y p o s i t i v e l y correlated with their perception of the parent-child relationship (the higher the score on any MPAS scale, the higher their total PSI relationship score) . 59 Table 5 Correlations Between MPAS and PSI Parent Perception  Scores PSI Parent Perception Scores Mothers Fathers Both MPAS Variables D i s c i p l i n a r i a n . 16 .05 . 07 p = . l p=. 38 p=. 28 n=61 n=41 n=102 Rejecting -. 14 . 13 -.01 p=. 15 p = . 21 p=.45 n=59 n=40 n=90 Indulgent -. 16 -. 15 -. 13 p = . l l p=.17 p = .09 n=61 n=41 n=102 Protecting -. 10 -.01 -.05 p = . 22 p=.47 p = . 30 n=61 n=41 n=102 60 Results Data were again analyzed separately for mothers, fathers, as well as a l l parents as one group. Pearson correlations were computed for a l l four attitude scales with perception of relationship scores ( t o t a l PSI score). Correlation c o e f f i c i e n t s , p r o b a b i l i t i e s (p), and number of subjects included in the computation are presented in Table 6. Overall, attitudes were not found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y related to parent-child relationship perceptions. Hypothesis 3 3. Parents of special needs children d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y from parents of ty p i c a l children in both (a) their attitudes toward c h i l d rearing and (b) their perceptions of their c h i l d , themselves as parents and the parent c h i l d relationship. a) Parents of special needs children w i l l have higher c h i l d rearing attitude scores and lower perceptions of their c h i l d , themselves as parents and the parent-child relationship than parents of t y p i c a l children ( i e . , parents of special needs children w i l l have higher MPAS scale scores, higher c h i l d and parent domain scores and a higher overall t o t a l PSI score). 61 Table 6 Correlations Between MPAS and PSI Relationship Perception  Scores PSI Relationship Perception Scores Mothers Fathers Both MPAS Variables D i s c i p l i n a r i a n . 13 . 10 . 09 p=. 15 p = . 26 p = . 19 n=61 n=41 n = 102 Rejecting -.14 . 15 -.01 p = . 15 p=. 18 p=. 45 n=59 n=40 n=90 Indulgent -. 14 -.20 -. 14 p=. 14 p = . l l p=.08 n=61 n=41 n=102 Protecting -.08 p=. 26 n=61 -.01 p=. 49 n=41 -. 04 p=. 33 n=102 62 Results Mean attitude and perception scores were calculated and are shown in Table 8. An analysis of variance was computed for a l l scales and domains of the research instruments (MPAS and PSI) and type of c h i l d (special needs or t y p i c a l ) . An Anova summary table i s displayed in Table 7. Calculations were performed separately for mothers, fathers, and the t o t a l parent group. Sum of squares, degrees of freedom, F Ratios, and p r o b a b i l i t i e s are outlined. Table 7 Anova Summary Table Both Parents Source: Type of c h i l d Main Effects (Special Needs or SS df Typical) F P PSI Child Perception 115.3 1 . 29 .66 PSI Parent Perception .44 1 . 00 . 98 PSI Total 101.51 1 .06 .88 MPAS: D i s c i p l i n a r i a n 113.82 1 3. 21 . 07 Rejecting 4. 39 1 . 14 .71 Indulgent 18.70 1 . 43 . 51 Protecting 8.74 1 . 37 .54 63 There were no s i g n i f i c a n t differences found between typical parents and special needs parents for any of the MPAS scales, PSI t o t a l , c h i l d domain or parent domain scores and we therefore, f a i l to re j e c t the n u l l hypothesis. It i s worthwhile noting that scores of parents of special needs children were elevated above scores of parents of typ i c a l children on a l l perception variables (see Table 8). As well, i n a Pearson cor r e l a t i o n computation d i s c i p l i n a r i a n c h i l d rearing attitudes were found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher for parents of special needs children (r= .27 p=.008). Post Hoc Analyses In l i g h t of the fact that c h i l d rearing and parent-c h i l d relationships are highly complex and that hypothesized relationships were not s i g n i f i c a n t , i t was f e l t that a deeper look at our results was necessary. In order to further examine the data, a c o r r e l a t i o n a l matrix was computed for the independent variables, dependent variables, as well as control variables such as age of c h i l d , age of parent, sex of c h i l d , sex of parent, number of s i b l i n g s , parents' education l e v e l , occupational status, income and type of c h i l d . Appropriate s t a t i s t i c a l analyses were then conducted for s i g n i f i c a n t relationships. Table 8 Mean MPAS and PSI Scores for Parents of Typical (n=43)  and Special Needs Children (64) Means Variables Typical Special Needs PSI Scores; Child Perception 109.26 114.02 Parent Perception 121.53 123.59 Total (Relationship) 230.79 237.61 MPAS Scores: D i s c i p l i n a r i a n 16.38 19.18 Rejecting 16.86 16.05 Protecting 29.75 29.06 Indulgent 26.20 25.02 Results Pearson c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s were computed for mothers, fathers, and parents for the independent variables age of c h i l d and number of s i b l i n g s , with dependent perception and attitude variables. It was discovered that for fathers, the more children they had, the less rejecting their c h i l d rearing attitudes (r=-.43, p=.003). As well, a s i g n i f i c a n t negative rel a t i o n s h i p was found for mothers. The more children they have, the 65 less protective their child-rearing attitudes (r=-.24, p=.032). As suggested by the results of the c o r r e l a t i o n a l matrix described above, multiple regressions were run with PSI c h i l d perception scores, MPAS c h i l d rearing attitude scores and control variables sex of c h i l d , father's occupation. For purposes of c l a r i t y , only results of the analyses for the parent group as a whole are presented, except i n the instance of indulgent c h i l d rearing attitudes, where sex of parent was found to be signifcant (Table 10). Tables 9 and 10 outline the unstandardized regression c o e f f i c i e n t s (B), the standardized regression c o e f f i c i e n t (Beta), p r o b a b i l i t i e s (p), R, and R squared. As R-squared can only have a positive value, any chance differences w i l l be in a positive d i r e c t i o n , therefore the adjusted R square is also presented. Multiple regression i s u t i l i z e d in studying the effects, and magnitude of the e f f e c t s , of one or more independent variables on one dependent variable using the pr i n c i p l e s of regression and c o r r e l a t i o n (Kerlinger, 1973). Regression i s an al g e b r a i c a l l y expressed functional relationship between variables (Nachmias & Nachmias, 1981) and c o r r e l a t i o n describes the strength of the relationship between variables (Borg & G a l l , 1983). 66 Table 9 Multiple Regression of Sex of Child, Father's Occupation,  D i s c i p l i n a r i a n and Rejecting MPAS Scores on PSI Child  Perception Scores (n=107). Var iables B Beta T P D i s c i p l i n a r i a n 14 . 03 . 37 71 Sex of Child -17. 95 -. 36 -3. 94 * 00 Father's Occup 00 -. 27 -2. 99 * 00 R Square=. 21 F=8. 85 Adjusted R Square=. 19 P = -00 Variables B Beta T P Rejecting 29 .06 • 73 47 Sex of Child -17. 97 -. 36 -3. 91 00 Father's Occup 00 -.30 -3. 33 * 00 R Square=.23 Adjusted R Square=.21 F=9.53 p=.00 67 Table 10 Multiple Regression of Sex of Child, Father's Occupation,  Protecting and Indulgent MPAS Scores on PSI Child  Perception Scores (n=107). Variables § Beta T P Protecting -.17 -.03 -.35 .72 Sex of Child -18.23 -.37 -4.08 *.00 Father's Occup -.00 -.27 -2.99 *.00 R Square=.21 F=8.85 Adjusted R Square=.19 p=.00 Var iables B Beta T P Indulgent .47 -.12 -1, . 37 -, . 17 Sex of Child -17, , 83 -. 36 -4. 02 * i ,00 Father's Occup ,00 -.27 -3. ,08 ,00 Sex of Parent 8. 87 . 18 2. 02 * .05 R Square=, 29 F=9. ,58 Adjusted R Square=, . 20 P = .00 68 From knowledge of the values of two or more independent variables we want to predict a dependent variable. Multiple regression estimates both the magnitude and s t a t i s t i c a l significance of relationships between variables (Borg & G a l l , 1983). Results of the multiple regressions indicated that although predicted by our hypotheses, parents' c h i l d rearing attitudes were not s i g n i f i c a n t l y related to their perceptions of their c h i l d . It was found however, that sex of c h i l d and father's occupation accounted for a highly s i g n i f i c a n t amount of the variance in c h i l d perception (see Tables 9 and 10). Boys were consistently more negatively perceived than g i r l s . The higher the fathers' occupational position (Blishen Index, 1987), the more p o s i t i v e l y the c h i l d was perceived. Additionally, sex of parent was found to contribute s i g n i f i c a n t l y to PSI c h i l d domain scores (B=8.87, Beta=.18, t=2.02, p=.04). Mothers perceived their c h i l d somewhat more negatively than fathers. Tables 11 and 12 i l l u s t r a t e a set of multiple regression results. Sex of c h i l d , father's occupation, and MPAS c h i l d rearing attitudes are the independent variables and PSI parent perception scores are the dependent variables. 69 Table 11 Multiple Regression of Sex of Child, Father's Occupation,  D i s c i p l i n a r i a n and Rejecting MPAS Scores on PSI Parent  Perception Scores (n=107). Variables B Beta T P D i s c i p l i n a r i a n .08 .02 .23 .82 Sex of Child -20.77 -4.27 -4.7 *.00 Father's Occup -.00 -.20 -2.27 *.02 R Square=.23 F=9.78 Adjusted R Square=.20 p=.00 Variables Ii Beta T P Rejecting .20 .05 .55 .58 Sex of Child -19.01 -.40 -4.51 *.00 Father's Occup -.00 -.27 -3.05 *.00 R Square=.30 Adjusted R Square=.27 F=9.85 p=.00 70 Table 12 Multiple Regression of Sex of Child, Father's Occupation,  D i s c i p l i n a r i a n Protecting and Indulgent MPAS Scores on PSI Parent Perception Scores (n=107). Variables B Beta T P Protecting . 29 -.06 -.65 .52 Sex of Child -20.27 -4.16 -4.73 *.00 Father's Occup -.00 -. 18 -1. 95 *. 05 R Square=.26 F=8.55 Adjusted R Square=.23 p=.00 Var iables B Beta T P Indulgent -.51 -. 14 -1.56 . 12 Sex of Child -19.85 -.40 -4.67 *.00 Father's Occup -.00 -. 17 -2.02 *. 05 R Square=.28 Adjusted R Square=.25 F=9.23 p=. 00 71 It is again found that sex of c h i l d and father's occupation, i n a l l four equations of MPAS c h i l d rearing attitude scales, account for a s i g n i f i c a n t proportion of the variance (23-29%) of parent's perception scores. In regard to parents' perception of their relationship with their c h i l d , i t was found that father's occupation accounted for a s i g n i f i c a n t amount of the variance in equations with d i s c i p l i n a r i a n and re j e c t i n g c h i l d rearing attitudes (see Table 13). Results of several Anova computations show that sex of c h i l d s i g n i f i c a n t l y affected parents' perceptions of their c h i l d , themselves as parents, and the parent c h i l d relationship (see Table 15). In Table 16, mean scores of parents are outlined and i t i s apparent that parents of boys consistently and s i g n i f i c a n t l y have more negative perceptions than parents of g i r l s and that sex of parent was s i g n i f i c a n t in determining parents' perceptions of themselves. Mothers perceived themselves more negatively than fathers (see Table 14 B). 72 Table 13 Multiple Regression of Sex of Parent, Father's  Occupation, D i s c i p l i n a r i a n and Rejecting MPAS Scores on  PSI (Total) Parent Perception of Relationship Scores  (n=107). Variables B Beta T P Di s c i p l i n a r i a n 1 .05 . 14 1 .45 . 15 Sex of Parent 13 .09 . 14 1 .44 . 15 Father's Occup — .01 -. 25 -2 .587 *.01 R Square=.io F=3. 8 Adjusted R Square = . 07 p = .01 Var iables B Beta T P Rejecting • 17 .02 • 22 .83 Sex of Parent 8 . 19 .09 • 90 . 37 Father's Occup -.01 -.36 -3 . 59 * . 00 R Square=.15 Adjusted R Square=.ll F=3.96 p=.01 73 Table 14 Anova Summary Tables A) PSI Child Source Sex of Child Perception by SS 7536.11 n=107 Sex of Child df MS 1 7536.11 p=.00 B) PSI Parent Perception by Source SS Sex of Child 9620.37 Sex of Parent 2497.78 n=107 n=107 Sex of Child and Parent df MS F 1 9620.37 *19.52 1 2497.78 **5.07 *p=.00 **p=.02 C) PSI (Total) Perception of Relationship by Sex of Child Source SS df MS F Sex of Child 34185.88 1 34185.88 *20.15 n=107 p=.00 Table 15 Mean PSI Child Perception Scores Mean Scores PSI Perception Scores; Male Female Child 120.98 103.39 (53) (54) Parent 132.83 112.89 (53) (54) Relationship 253.81 216.28 (Total) (53) (54) 75 CHAPTER FIVE Discussion The present study was grounded in Schneider, Hastorf and Ellsworth's (1979) person perception theory which stresses that we a c t i v e l y and c r i t i c a l l y observe and interpret other people's behavior, in essence, we define what the actor is doing. This was augmented by Newcomb's (1958) view that attitude i s a mediating mechanism i n the perceptual process. An exploration of the person perception processes of parental attitude and perception (view) in the context of c h i l d rearing was undertaken. As well, c h i l d e f f e c t s , operationally defined by the presence or absence of a handicap, were examined in reference to their impact on parents' perceptions and their c h i l d rearing attitudes. An investigation of the relationships of select family variables such as sex of c h i l d , sex of parent, age of parent, age of c h i l d , socioeconomic status (SES) and family composition, was also undertaken. This concluding chapter presents a review of the re s u l t s , followed by a discussion of the implications of the findings and suggestions for further research. Review of the Results The f i r s t hypothesis stated that there would be a si g n i f i c a n t positive relationship between parental c h i l d rearing attitudes as measured by the Maryland Parent 76 Attitude Scale (MPAS) and (a) parents' perception of their c h i l d , (b) parents' perception of themselves as parents, and (c) parents' perception of their relationship with their c h i l d . These perceptions were measured by parent, c h i l d , and t o t a l domain scores on the Parenting Stress Index (PSI). This hypothesis was not supported by the data. The second hypothesis stated that there would be a s i g n i f i c a n t positive relationship between parental attitudes about c h i l d rearing and their perception of the quality of the parent-child relationship. This hypothesis was not supported by the data. The t h i r d hypothesis stated that parents with special needs children would respond more negatively to their children by exhibiting stronger c h i l d rearing attitudes and more negative perceptions. There were no s i g n i f i c a n t differences found between these two groups. However, perceptions of special needs children were consistently more negative than parents with typ i c a l children, on a l l perception variables. Interestingly, a post hoc analysis produced a Pearson c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t which indicated a small, but s i g n i f i c a n t positive relationship between d i s c i p l i n a r i a n c h i l d rearing attitudes and having a special needs c h i l d . Our findings do not support our predictions about the person perception processes of c h i l d rearing in 77 general, or the relationship between attitudes and perceptions s p e c i f i c a l l y . This w i l l be deliberated l a t e r in the paper. Discussion of Post Hoc Analyses In the following section, we w i l l discuss our secondary findings and examine them in the context of related l i t e r a t u r e . Post hoc analyses revealed a number of s i g n i f i c a n t and interesting relationships. Our results were consistent with the common trends in t h i s research area. Finding #1 Fathers' rejecting and mothers' protecting c h i l d rearing attitudes decreased as the number of children in their family increased. Bossard and Boll (1956) observed that role s p e c i a l i z a t i o n , d i s c i p l i n e , and e f f i c i e n c y of organization increases as family size increases. Peterson and Rollins (1987), on the basis of a review of l i t e r a t u r e conclude that parents having several children tend to use more control attempts, spend less time and are less supportive with each c h i l d , than parents with fewer children. They also state that c h i l d density, b i r t h order and gender may also e f f e c t c h i l d rearing responses. Finding #2 In this study, mothers were found to perceive their children and themselves as parents and their relationship 78 with their c h i l d , more negatively than fathers. Women s t i l l accept the majority of c h i l d rearing r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s (Aldous, Osmond, & Hicks, 1979) and men and women s t i l l experience their f a m i l i a l roles d i f f e r e n t l y (Peterson & Rol l i n s , 1987). Additionally, mothers are probably held more responsible for their children's behavior by the so c i a l group (Dix & Grusec, 1985; Goodnow, 1985). It seems feasible that mothers would be more invested and therefore, more c r i t i c a l of themselves and their charges than fathers and that this would translate into more negative perceptions . Finding #3 Fathers' occupations as measured by the Blishen Index (1987) were p o s i t i v e l y related to their perceptions of their c h i l d . This i s in keeping with the findings of Kohn's (1969) nation-wide survey that dimensions of a man's work influence his c h i l d rearing values. For instance, ty p i c a l middle-class jobs require i n i t i a t i v e , the a b i l i t y to think and act independently, and r e l a t i n g s k i l l s . Working class occupations on the other hand, require conformity and obedience. I t seems f i t t i n g that parents of each so c i a l class would emphasize those c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which seem most b e n e f i c i a l and appropriate for their children. Langman (1987) concurs that, "parents of every class value achievement, but i t s translation into concrete expectations and techniques 79 varies" (p.243). Z i g l e r , Lamb and Child (1982) also argue that s o c i a l class d i s t i n c t i o n s actually represent populations at difference levels of cognitive development that perceive and experience the world d i f f e r e n t l y . Finding #4 It was also discovered that fathers' occupations accounted for a s i g n i f i c a n t amount of the variance in d i s c i p l i n a r i a n and rejecting c h i l d rearing attitudes. Gecas (1979) summarized s o c i a l class and parenting research by positing that SES i s p o s i t i v e l y related to equalitarian relationships and negatively related to autocratic relationships, between parent and c h i l d . Gecas (1979) states: "Conditions experienced by parents in their socioeconomic context may have consequences within the parent-child relationship" (p. 483). After reviewing the research on s o c i a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n Langman (1987) found that the higher the parental SES, the greater the degree of parental warmth and expression of affection. She found this to be e s p e c i a l l y true for fathers who play a more supportive role as their occupational status increases. This is consistent with our research findings. Finding #5 Of particular interest was the research outcome that sex of c h i l d was repeatedly strongly related to perceptions. Parents of boys saw their c h i l d , themselves 80 and their relationship more negatively than did parents of g i r l s . Gender roles are most l i k e l y influenced by a combination of biology and culture. Gender roles are strongly influenced by parental expectations and children learn gender identity very early. By age 2, children can use gender-related words to refer to themselves (Lewis & Weinraub, 1979; Maccoby & J a c k l i n , 1974). At about the same time, children also acquire gender-typed interests, a c t i v i t y and play patterns. Any preschool teacher can attest to the more rough and tumble and higher gross motor a c t i v i t y l e v e l of young boys and research has substantiated this (Maccoby & J a c k l i n , 1974). In a number of studies i t has been found that parents interact more protectively with their daughters than sons. Mothers tend to encourage their sons to brush themselves off and go back to play after a f a l l and w i l l tend to cuddle and nurture their daughters longer (Fagot, 1982). Additionally, parents reward g i r l s more often for s o c i a l behaviour while they w i l l reinforce boys' explorations (Fagot, 1982). Anselmo (1987) concludes that gender role stereotyping begins between the ages of two and three. Losh-Hesselbart (1987) summarizes a plethora of gender role research by stating that parents of preschool children appear to treat sons and daughters d i f f e r e n t l y in only a few areas such as dress and toys. These areas however, may be c r u c i a l in the development of sex 81 differences and gender roles. As well, research in this area indicates that boys receive more punishment than g i r l s from parents and teachers for aggression. Boys also receive more physical punishment for aggression from parents than g i r l s do (Losh-Hesselbart, 1987). This would lead us to conjecture that cognitively their behavior must be f i r s t viewed more negatively than g i r l s , and that these negative perceptions r e s u l t in more frequent punishment. Although adult sex roles are changing, Hoffman (1977) acknowledges that s o c i a l trends are not instantly reflected in c h i l d rearing attitudes. Consequently, he reports that sex differences i n the s o c i a l i z a t i o n experiences and outcomes of male and female offspring continue to be reported. Gender effects within the parent-child relationship are complex. Our results support Peterson & R o l l i n s ' (1987) conclusion that investigations continue to provide evidence that parents have d i f f e r e n t expectations of sons and daughters and consequently d i r e c t d i f f e r e n t behaviors at them. Implications of The Findings The findings of the present study f a i l e d to support the notion of a consistent and predictable relationship between parents' perceptions and attitudes. Our results do strongly support the current research on gender effects, influences of SES on parent-child r e l a t i o n s and the inconsistent, yet atypical patterns of responding of 82 parents of special needs children. We are again reminded of the necessity of taking into account the important role of s o c i a l / c u l t u r a l forces, gender influences and SES variables. There were several l i m i t a t i o n s to this study. Subject p a r t i c i p a t i o n was voluntary and although every attempt was made to ensure that the sample was representative i t was not possible to know about the c h i l d rearing attitudes and perceptions of those parents who chose not to participate. Social d e s i r a b i l i t y affecting response bias i s always a problem when surveying feelings and thoughts from parents about their children. Although the MPAS i s the best available measure of c h i l d rearing attitudes with s o c i a l d e s i r a b i l i t y controlled, there i s no guarantee that our parent population expressed themselves accurately or candidly. Additionally, the MPAS i s the most prevalent attitude measure in the l i t e r a t u r e yet i t can be c r i t i c i z e d for i t s i d i o s y n c r a t i c attitude construct d e f i n i t i o n s . This w i l l be elaborated upon later in our discussion. A l l of the participants were parents of children i n a c h i l d development centre or preschool in the Lower Mainland. I t i s assumed that they are representative of the parents of preschoolers in urban Canadian c i t i e s , however, we have no assurance that this i s so. 83 Suggestions For Further Research Over three decades ago, Robert Sears (1951) advocated that researchers begin to address b i d i r e c t i o n a l models when studying the phenomena of parent c h i l d relations. However, not u n t i l the late 1960's and early 1970's did this trend begin to emerge. There are now four predominant approaches to studying the parent-child dyad (Peterson & R o l l i n s , 1987): 1. Mutual attachment processes are seen as the c r i t i c a l determinant of the parent-child relationship (Ainsworth & B e l l , 1970). 2. Researchers of c h i l d e f f e c t s , examine how children influence the attitudes, perceptions, behaviors, and i d e n t i t i e s of their parents (Bell & Harper, 1977; Lerner & Spanier, 1978; Maccoby & Martin, 1983). 3. Reciprocal i n t e r a c t i o n a l i s t s postulate that influence occurs i n both directions ( B e l l , 1981; Schaffer & C o l l i s , 1986). 4. There is a growing body of l i t e r a t u r e which advocates the systemic approach to studying the parent-c h i l d dyad within the context of an impinging s o c i a l environment ( B e l l , 1979; Belsky, 1981; Bronfenbrenner, 1986; Hess & Holloway, 1984; Hinde & Stevenson-Hinde, 1986; Mattesich & H i l l , 1987). The f i r s t and most s i m p l i s t i c approach, attachment, is a very popular subject for c h i l d development 84 researchers and can be neatly separated from the others. The l a s t three processes are inextricably linked and the results of our study c e r t a i n l y underscore this interconnectedness and the impo s s i b i l i t y of trying to separate them either i n theory or research. The thrust of current research on parent-child relations is.toward a more h o l i s t i c , b i d i r e c t i o n a l framework. The value of such an approach can only be reiterated in the l i g h t of present findings. Osofsky and O'Connell (1979) point out however, that researchers have fa i l e d to develop theoretical concepts that provide insight into the nature, the antecedents, and the consequences of b i - d i r e c t i o n a l interaction. Construction of a theory which incorporates cognitions, behavior, and social processes in a b i d i r e c t i o n a l model is needed. An alternative model of parent-child s o c i a l i z a t i o n has been developed in which the sequential exchanges between c h i l d and parent are examined (Gewirtz, 1969). This approach focuses on the meaning that individuals assign to interactive situations. To assess both the objective and subjective aspects of these interactions requires the use of interviews and questionnaires i n conjunction with observation procedures. This approach would allow the attitudes, perceptions, expectations, and behaviors of parents and children to be assessed (Parke, 1978). An approach of this kind would necessitate the 85 delineation of important aspects of interaction and the conversation of gestures. The parent-child relationship investigator requires the inclusion of the role of the macrosystem for this theory to be t r u l y comprehensive and i t appears that Peterson and Rollins have taken the f i r s t step towards this goal. Peterson and Rollins (1987) summarized their review of parent-child s o c i a l i z a t i o n research with the development of a model which incorporates the relevant variables in three levels of interaction. At the f i r s t l e v e l , the micro-level, are parent and c h i l d roles, attitudes, perceptions, personality factors, and c h i l d and parent e f f e c t s . At the next l e v e l i s the role of the family environment. This takes into account the mutuality of influence between s i b l i n g s , extended family relationships, spousal r e l a t i o n s , and the interdependent nature of the system members and their relationships with one another. This dimension accounts for a well-documented and complicating factor i n parent-child relations, the influence of both indirect and d i r e c t effects such as s i b l i n g density, b i r t h order, c h i l d density, and the husband-wife relationship on the parent c h i l d dyad. At the t h i r d (macro) l e v e l , a variety of larger s o c i a l systems are portrayed. Included in this sphere are education systems, socioeconomic influences, p o l i t i c s , culture, language, r e l i g i o n , and economics. 86 These contexts are d i r e c t and indi r e c t sources of the b e l i e f s and attitudes and perceptions that parents carry into their c h i l d rearing expectations and relationships with their children. In short this model offers a framework from which we can outline the whole of parent-c h i l d s o c i a l i z a t i o n while acknowledging the import of composite dynamics and their accompanying theories. Kohn's (1969) socioeconomic theory, gender researchers and person perception theorists such as Schneider et a l . , (1979) are a l l compatible with this model. We can resolve any competition for prominence between the f i e l d s of psychology and sociology by affirming the relevance of both perspectives to the study of parent-child relations. Further elaboration of this model would be very useful for researchers in this f i e l d . There are however, many complications and problems to parent-child studies in general, and to b i d i r e c t i o n a l research, s p e c i f i c a l l y . There i s the predisposition to simplify the model, and avoid the complexities of interaction altogether (Bell & Harper, 1977). Peterson & Rollins (1987) also affirm that data from interaction studies and the subsequent a n a l y t i c a l procedures are highly complex and encourage researchers to be preoccupied with methodology and smaller samples. There is also the problem of construct d e f i n i t i o n . Blumer (1969) opines that t y p i c a l measurement protocols 87 bend the empirical world to their premises and expectations. Different interpretations and meanings are evoked for each researcher. Inconsistent findings are compounded by the use of d i f f e r e n t conceptualizations of the same variables. This s i t u a t i o n was encountered in the present study and i s p a r t i c u l a r l y true for the dimensions of control and support in c h i l d rearing practices and attitudes. For instance, parent "support" is behavior which fosters those actions and internal states which are consistent with parental expectations. This can be interpreted in a multitude of ways from reinforcement procedures, attachment, acceptance, to variables such as indulgence and protectiveness, the scales used i n the MPAS. Problems in the control dimension are even more apparent. Constructs ranging from love withdrawal (rejection, on the MPAS), coercion, and d i s c i p l i n e (same on MPAS). These are the three most commonly defined dimensions of control and one can see that inconsistent findings would be compounded by these d i f f e r e n t conceptualizations. Another d i f f i c u l t y encountered by researchers u t i l i z i n g a b i d i r e c t i o n a l model i s the practice of summarizing s t a t i c variables across time, situations, and concepts. Parents are asked to report, as in this study, on their actions and feelings in a very broad assessment of general attitudes and perceptions. 88 Other d e f i c i e n c i e s result from problems of small samples, bivariate rather than multivariate models and the need for sophisticated techniques to analyze mu l t i p l i c a t i v e interactions and c u r v i l i n e a r relationships (Peterson & R o l l i n s , 1987). It would be of value to re p l i c a t e t h i s research with a d i f f e r e n t measure of parental attitudes which r e f l e c t s a more current construct d e f i n i t i o n a l framework. As well, as our study again affirms, the design should incorporate impinging variables (such as sex, cl a s s , age, education...) into the formulation of primary hypotheses. It i s obvious that "black boxing" phenomena in this area is both misrepresentative and u n r e a l i s t i c . As Schneider et a l . , state, "People, behavior, and context are extremely complex s t i m u l i " (1979, p.248). In addition, thought needs to be given as to how to most accurately separate out individual interaction effects while maintaining the i n t e g r i t y of the whole. Conclus ion Parent c h i l d s o c i a l i z a t i o n involves an evolving, dynamic interaction where mutually shared conceptions and expectations emerge. It i s these expectations which are the source of our research questions. What do parents think and feel? How does that shape their interactions and understanding of themselves and their child? We, as researchers in this area need to c l a r i f y our concepts 89 (what is an attitude? perception? what is control or support?). 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Child  Development, 30, 27-36. 107 Appendix A VANCOUVER-RICHMOND ASSOCIATION FOR MENTALLY HANDICAPPED PEOPLE CHILDREN'S SERVICES M E M O R A N D U M DATE: November 23, 1988 TO: A l l Parents FRCM: Jennifer Andersen, Children's Services Director RE: PARTICIPATION IN RESEARCH PROJECT The Research Committee of the Vancouver-Richmond Association for Mentally Handicapped People has reviewed the proposal submitted by Tracy Theemes e n t i t l e d "Person Perception Processes in Ch i l d " Rearing". We are pleased to report that the committee has approved the pa r t i c i p a t i o n in the project of the f i v e centres involved i n VRAMHP Children's Services. Our Association i s excited about the s i g n i f i c a n t benefits for parents, children, and s t a f f from this project. I t w i l l provide us with s p e c i f i c information and feedback on our collaborative effo r t s with parents as well as recommendations for our agency in educational t r a n s i t i o n issues and general family involvement. The results w i l l enable us to better meet the needs of t y p i c a l and special needs children and their f a m i l i e s . Thank you for your support of this project. JA /jv cc. Wanda Justice Kathy Cruickshank Ann Stone V i c k i Lee Kel l y Chong 109 INSTRUCTIONS 1. P l e a s e read d i r e c t i o n s c a r e f u l l y . A l l q u e s t i o n s r e f e r to the c h i l d which i s c u r r e n t l y e n r o l l e d i n the I n f a n t Development Programme. 2. I f you have d i f f i c u l t y a nswering any o f the q u e s t i o n s f e e l f r e e to c o n t a c t Tracy Theemes a t 687-3249. Some q u e s t i o n s may be d i f f i c u l t t o answer o r may sound s i l l y to you. S e l e c t the b e s t response a v a i l a b l e . I t i s impor t a n t t h a t a l l q u e s t i o n s be answered. 3. Pen or p e n c i l may be used i n f i l l i n g out the q u e s t i o n n a i r e . 4. When you have completed the whole package p l e a s e r e t u r n i t to your I n f a n t Development C o n s u l t a n t on her next v i s i t . Your prompt response i s a p p r e c i a t e d . 5. Thank you f o r your time and s u p p o r t . 1 1 0 Personal Information: Family Background NOTE: This section of the questionnaire contains questions regarding the family background of your c h i l d . This information is c r u c i a l to the outcome of the study on the effects of parent teacher collaboration. Again, a l l information w i l l be kept s t r i c t l y c o n f i d e n t i a l . Age of responding parent\guardian sex Age of child sex Please check one of the following regarding your c h i l d : non-handicapped ( ) physical handicap ( ) mental handicap ( ) behavioural handicap ( ) emotional handicap ( ) multiple handicap ( ) other: Please check one of the following regarding your family composition: two parent family ( ) one parent family ( ) foster parent or guardian ( ) How many brothers and s i s t e r s does this c h i l d have? If none, write "0". older brothers ( ) older s i s t e r s ( ) younger brothers ( ) younger s i s t e r s ( ) What languages are spoken in your home? english french german U k r a i n i a n Portuguese i t a l i a n punjabi other n a t i v e indian eskimo\inuit metis polish Chinese Vietnamese Spanish I l l Mothers and fathers education: Please check the appropriate box. Mother Father less than grade nine high school graduate trades c e r t i f i c a t e or diploma some university or post-secondary without c e r t i f i c a t e or diploma university or other post-secondary with c e r t i f i c a t e or diploma university degree Please describe below the job most recently held by: Mother Father Family income: Please check the appropriate box. Mother Father under $10,000 11,000-15,0 00 16,000-2 0,0 00 21,000-25,000 2 6,000-30,000 31,000-35,000 36,000-40,000 41,000-45,000 46,000-5 0,0 00 51,000-55,000 56,000-60,000 over $60,000 

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