The relation between parental consistency in response to frustration and children's imitation of parental responses Public Deposited

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  • The present investigation was designed to test two major hypotheses and five sub-hypotheses. The two major hypotheses were: (1) Parental models influence the shaping of children's responses to frustration, and (2) There is a positive relation between parental consistency in responses to frustration and children's imitation of parental responses. Three sub-hypotheses derived from major Hypothesis I were: (a) Children exposed to parental models who display aggressive frustration reactions, will react in an aggressive manner to frustrative stimuli, (b) Children exposed to parental models who display dependency frustration reactions, will react in a dependent manner to frustrative stimuli, and (c) Children exposed to parental models who display withdrawal frustration reactions, will react in a withdrawal manner to frustrative stimuli. Two sub-hypotheses derived from major Hypotheses II were; (a) Parental consistency in response to frustration will lead to greater parental imitation than will parental inconsistency, and (b) Parental inconsistency in response to frustration will lead to boys' imitation of fathers and girls' imitation of mothers. Subjects were .52 boys and girls drawn from a population of eight to ten year old children, from middle class families, and unbroken homes. The design for the study was the static-group comparison design for correlational studies. In testing the hypotheses for this study four major activites were undertaken; (1) obtaining participants for the study; (2) obtaining parents responses to frustration stimuli; (3) determining parental consistency in responses to frustration and classifying families into consistent or inconsistent groups, and (4) determining frustration reactions of children. A measure of parental consistency in response to frustration was obtained by determining agreement between parents' responses to items in a projective-type instrument depicting frustration situations. A measure of the children's imitation of parental behavior was obtained by determining extent to which children's responses to frustration situations agreed with parental responses to frustration. To determine influence of parental models in shaping children's responses to frustration, comparison was made of frustration-response scores of children from families in which parents were aggressive, dependent and withdrawal with children from families in which parents were non-aggressive, non-dependent and non-withdrawal. Analysis of data confirmed the hypothesis that children imitate parental responses to frustration. To determine influence of consistency between parents in response to frustration on children's imitation of parental responses, comparisons were made of frustration responses of children from parent-consistent and parent-inconsistent families in each of three conditions; aggression, dependency and withdrawal. Analysis of data partially supported the major hypothesis. Significant difference was not found between consistent and inconsistent groups in the aggressive condition. Significant differences were found between the consistent and inconsistent groups in dependent and withdrawal conditions. Data supported two interpretations for negative findings concerning the influence of parental consistency on imitation of parental responses: (1) Consistency of one parent in response to frustration across situations was a more significant variable influencing children's imitation of parental models than consistency between parents: and (2) In consistent and inconsistent groups children imitated only the like-sexed parent. Data in this investigation supported the hypothesis that in event of inconsistency between parents, boys imitate fathers and girls mothers. It was concluded within limits of the data in the present investigation that parental models exert a significant influence in determining children's responses to frustration and in general boys tend to imitate fathers and girls, mothers. It is suggested that among several parental antecedents of imitative behavior, the combined effect of parental consistency across situations and consistency between parents. in response to frustation was a significant variable influencing children's imitation of parental responses.
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