|Abstract or Summary
- 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
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.