Parental evaluations of children's social behaviors Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qb98mj59j

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  • The major purpose of this study was to identify those social behaviors of children which a particular group of parents perceived as important in the process of socialization. This purpose was in direct support of Western Regional Research Project W-144. The study also investigated changes in parental evaluations of children's social behaviors as a result of parental participation in a parent education class. The subjects were 22 female parents living in the same geographic area of the state of Oregon. Eleven of these subjects were enrolled in a parent education class and 11 were not enrolled and had never taken such a class. The subjects were very homogeneous with respect to background characteristics,in that distribution matching was used to equate the two groups on twelve characteristics. All subjects responded to a 48 item questionnaire regarding children's social behaviors, rating each item on a 1-9 continuum reflecting degree of importance to the subject. To pursue the major purpose of the study the pretest data from the 22 subjects were combined for frequency distribution computations on the total group. Responses were totaled, condensed into 16 Social behavior categories and then ranked in order of importance. In this ranking, three of the first four behaviors identified by the parents were identical with those deduced from the theoretical base of the study. Those behaviors were: sense of identity, understanding others, and cooperation. When rankings were compiled for the experimental group alone, the same social behaviors emerged. However, the rankings for the control group revealed differences, in that responsible and tolerance replaced happy and understanding others in the top four ranks. The second purpose of this study was to assess changes in parent's evaluation of children's social behaviors, particularly those associated with participation in a parent education class. Two null hypotheses were tested, and, at the selected five percent level of significance, neither hypothesis could be rejected. Although the within group and between groups analyses revealed no significant differences, inspection of the mean values and ranks of the 16 social behaviors, on the posttests, did display trends in changes. Sub-analyses, in the form of rank order correlations, were then performed for each group on the changes from pretest to posttest. These correlations confirmed greater changes in the ranks for the experimental group. When considering the theoretical base, two of the trends toward significant changes in parental evaluations of children's social behaviors, and four of the identified nine most important children's social behaviors were a part of the sequential flow chart which linked self theory to children's social behaviors. These same nine most important children's social behaviors were identical to those which were designated by professional researchers, in the review of literature, as reflective of American middle-class parents and indicative of social competence in Children. These findings supported two of the purposes of the W-144 project. Limitations of the study and suggestions for further study were discussed.
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