UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Independence and compliance orientations in families : background factors and descriptive behaviors Klein, Sheldon Richard


This is a study of the factors associated with family environments oriented towards independence or compliance. A sample of mothers with children in elementary school, secondary school, and community college in New Westminster, B.C. was asked to complete the Family Environment Scale (FES) and a demographic questionnaire. In addition, they were asked to participate in a one and one half hour interview designed to elicit incidents parents considered critical in the career and personal development of their child. Two multiple regression analyses were run, using the predictor variables of family socioeconomic status (SES), gender composition of the siblings, age of the children, and number of children. The criterion variable for the first multiple regression analysis was independence orientation of the family as measured by the independence subscale of the FES. The second analysis used the criterion variable of compliance orientation of the family as measured by the control subscale of the FES. Analyses of variance and post hoc comparisons were employed in a secondary analysis. In addition, incidents from transcripts of selected families with high scores on the FES subscales were used to describe attitudes and behaviors parents used to encourage independence or compliance in their children. The results of the multiple regression analysis showed that families with children 14 years and older were associated with higher scores on the independence subscale of the FES. No other association between the variables was found. Investigation of the incidents in the interview transcripts suggests that there was a tendency for all mothers to state that they believed in encouraging, at least to some extent, independence in their children, but they did not always act in these ways. These results suggest that mothers from families with differing backgrounds believe in the desirability of encouraging independence in children. At the same time specific parental behaviors may go against the development of these qualities. Information on the types of families that encourage independence and the means by which they do this could help parents to structure their family environment in ways that would encourage the healthy career and personal development of their children.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.