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BackgroundInformation

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 4 months ago

Background Information

 

Upon conducting former published research on the topic at hand, a search was done on various situations of the way children may intereact with their parent(s) in social settings. There were a total of six articles that were viewed. The article topics included:

 

  1. How mothers and fathers compare when it comes to the involvement of the child
  2. Parent-child social play in a controlled setting
  3. Paternal involvement as it relates to children's behavior problems
  4. Married versus single parents interacting with their children
  5. A child's interactions with parents versus siblings
  6. The relationships among the sex of the parent, gender role, and the time parents spend with their children

 

 

Note:The information for each article was carefully outlined in a table of contents.


Child Characteristics, Parenting Stress, and parental involvement: fathers vs. mothers

The Hypothesis

  1. The research for this study was designed to measure how a parent's involvement with their child can be tied in with the temperament of the child's behavior and the parent's stress level when dealing with an unruly child.

The Method

  1. The fathers that participated in the study were tested on their level of responsibility, accessibility and interaction with the child.
  2. To determine how much involvement the father would contribute to the study, thier behavior was measured by the characteristics of the father, characteristics of the child, and sources of stress.
  3. Each parent was given a set of questionnaires and asked to keep a diary of the interactions that they shared between the child (boy and girl).

Results

  1. The results yielded in this study showed that the gender of the child played a role in the way the child behaved, i.e., the sons were more "high-strung" than the daughters.
  2. This factor played a key role in the way the parents responded to the child.
  3. The fathers had a more positive response towards the daughters than the mothers did towards the sons. In fact, the mothers appeared to suffer from a much higher stress level than the fathers when dealing with a high-temperament child.

Conclusion

  1. In all, the child's temperament toward the parent had a major impact on the way in which the parent responded to the child.
  2. If the child appeared to have a high temperament, the parent did not respond as well to the interaction with the child.

Discussion

  1. The overall theme viewed in this study showed that the interactions between parents and kids can be viewed more positively if the child is less temperamental. This could very well explain why some of the children observed throughout our ethnography behaved well-mannered while others did not fare as well. It seems to be all in the way they behave towards the parents in public that will set the tone of how the interactions will play out between the parent(s) and the child.

 

Parent-child social play in a children's museum

The Hypothesis

  1. The nature of this study attempted to report just how much a parent interacts with a child in the controlled setting of a children's museum.

The Method

  1. A mother and her child (boy or girl) were placed in a pretend-play setting of a supermarket in a children's museum.
  2. The parent and child were openly observed on how they interacted with one another, i.e., maintaining interaction by engaging in conversation with one another (in reference to the objects in the supermarket).
  3. Other components measured throughout the observation included how often the parent and/or child initiated the interaction, how long it lasted, and how the parent or child responded to the interaction.

Results

  1. The study found that the kids initiated more pretend play by introducing the objects to the parent.
  2. The parents did not maintain interactions for a long period of time with the child.

Conclusion

  1. Based on the results found in the study, the child's interaction with the parent could be measured through the setting in which the study took place.
  2. The setting was designed to invite pretend play, but other places that a parent and child interacts may not be as inviting.

Discussion

  1. The parent could have shown little interest with the interaction of the child based on the idea that they could have been bored with the setting. It seemed as though the setting only catered to the child and not the parent as well.
  2. Based on the setting of the ethnography, the kids observed could have viewed the mall as one big playground. The parent's interaction may not have been as positive as it could have been, based on the setting.

After-School Reunion Interaction in Single versus 2-Parent Families

The Hypothesis

  1. This study measured parent-child interactions when parents picked up their children at an after-school day care center.
  2. It was hypothesized that parents from 2 parent families would have better interactions with their children than single parents.

The Method

  1. 40 single parents and 40 parents from two parent families were chosen.
  2. There were 80 children- 50 girls and 30 boys.
  3. All attended the same after-school child care center.
  4. On 5 separate occasions unobtrusive observers rated all parent-child pairs using the Parent-Child Interaction Checklist (PCIC).
  5. The PCIC consisted of 4 items:

Verbal behavior toward child upon pick-up,

Physical interaction between parent and child upon pick-up,

The amount of time the parent allowed the child to get ready,

Type of emotions the parent expressed to the child.

  1. An overall scale score was computed by adding the 4 component subscale scores for each subject.

The Results

  1. This study found that single parents received significantly higher scores than parents in 2 parent families in all measures of quality and quantity of reunion interaction.
  2. The study broke it down even further, splitting the married group into 20 couples married and 20 couples remarried.
  3. The study still showed that single parents received higher scores than the 2 other parent groups on all measures.

Conclusion

  1. There were clearly significant differences between single and dual parent families in parent-child interaction behavior. The findings challenge the conventional notion that single parents have less time and energy to devote to their interactions with their children.

Discussion

  1. There are several factors that could contribute to such an unanticipated reality.
  2. First, single parents may value their relationship with their children more because they often have no alternative source of social gratification within the family.
  3. Second, without the distraction of an adult mate, single parents might have greater time and energy to invest in relationships with their children.
  4. Third, single parents commit greater energy to parent because as the sole adult in the child's life, they feel more important, responsible, and in control.
  5. Finally, the fact that single parents are less likely than married spouses to be preoccupied by resentment over unequal distribution of childcare responsibilities within their marriage, might make afterschool pick up episodes less conflictual.

Paternal involvement and children's behavior problems

The Hypothesis

  1. This study attempted to measure how the involvement of parents could have an effect on a child's behavior.

The Method

  1. The father was given a questionnaire that measured the "father-time" spent with the child, i.e., actual time spent with child, the support of the father, and how close the father considered his relationship to be with the child. (The questionnaire was based on a numeric scale of 1-5)
  2. The mother was also given the same questionnaire as the father and measured on the same scale.

The Results

  1. The results yielded from this study showed that the mothers spent more overall time with the child than the fathers.
  2. Although the father did show signs of having involvement in the child's life, the mother was viewed as the dominantly active parent over the father.

Conclusion

  1. In all, the mother was viewed as spending more time with a child that displayed behavioral problems while the father opted to let the mother handle the child.

Discussion

  1. In linking this study back to the ethnography presented, the mother was probably seen in the mall setting more than the father because the father might not have been able to handle such a situation of the child behaving a certain way in public. Maybe, the child had the idea that it would be ok for them to misbehave in public with the mother because the mother would be able to control it better than the father.

The Young Child's Interactions with Parents versus Siblings: A Behavioral Analysis

The Hypothesis

  1. The purpose of this study was to examine the interactions of young children with their parents versus the interactions with their siblings.
  2. Do children demonstrate different behaviors or different rates of specific behaviors to parents than to siblings?
  3. Do parents and siblings respond differently to the target child's behavior?

The Method

  1. 47 families recruited through advertisements and randomly drawn from a list of families with school-age children.
  2. No family was selected in which a member was currently under psychiatric treatment or in which the target child had previously received treatment for behavior problems.
  3. The study only included intact families with either 2 or 3 children.
  4. Only 1 child out of the family between the ages of 4-8 was selected as the target child.
  5. Total of 62 siblings within 4-6 years of age of the target child.
  6. The study conducted 45 minute sessions on 5 consecutive weekdays.
  7. Observers were paid or given academic credit for their assistance.
  8. To reduce bias by observers, precautions were taken to conceal the purpose of the observations.
  9. The observers received extensive training in the use of the behavioral coding system prior to beginning the observations.

The Results

  1. In terms of total behaviors emitted, females tended generally to interact more with others than male target children.
  2. Girls also tended to give more commands, disapprove more often, and touch others more often.
  3. Boys talked more and demanded more attention.
  4. A significantly greater total number of behaviors were emitted to parents than to siblings.
  5. The undesirable behaviors which were most frequently emitted with parents were noncompliance to demands, whining, tantruming and destructiveness, and demanding attention. Target children emitted more high-rate physical activity, physical aggression, negative commands, and yelling with siblings.
  6. It appeared that the target children interacted more often and engaged in a wider variety of behaviors with parents than siblings.
  7. The only prosocial behavior that occurred more frequently to siblings was nonverbal interaction.

Conclusion

  1. In the majority of their interactions with parents, they seemed to be engaged in obtaining positive responses from others through socially appropriate and desirable behaviors.
  2. In comparison, their interactions with siblings seemed to be characterized more by the use of negative reinforcement and punishment as ways to control the behavior of others.

Discussion

  1. These findings could be explained in terms of the concepts of social reciprocity and coercion.
  2. In a coercive relationship, one partner attempts to control the behavior of the other by use of aversive stimuli. Then the partner submits, the aggressor’s coercive behavior is reinforced and the aggressor is more likely to use coercive techniques in the future.

Mothers, fathers, gender role, and time parents spend with their children

The Hypothesis

  1. To further examine the relationships among the amount of time mothers and fathers spend interacting directly with and being accessible to their children, the levels of responsibility mothers and fathers take for types of child-related activities, the level of parental satisfaction reported by mothers and fathers, and the masculinity and femininity of mothers and fathers.
  2. It was expected that mothers would spend significantly more time interacting with and being accessible to their children and would report that they had higher levels of responsibility for caretaking activities than fathers.
  3. In addition, it was expected that parents who were high in masculinity would spend less time interacting with and being accessible to their children and would endorse lower levels of responsibility for caretaking activities.
  4. In contrast, it was expected that parents who were high in femininity would spend significantly more time interacting with and being accessible to their children and would report higher levels of responsibility for caretaking activities. Finally, it was expected that fathers would be more satisfied with their parenting than mothers.

The Method

  1. Two hundred seventy-two parents who ranged in age from 19 to 54 years, participated in this study.
  2. One parent from each family participated.
  3. All parents who participated in this study had children who were of school age (preschool to high school).
  4. Mothers and fathers did not differ in the average age of their children.
  5. Most parents reported that their children lived with them rather than in another location (e.g., with the child's other parent).
  6. The majority of the sample was European American.
  7. The participants varied in marital status.
  8. Scores indicated that the occupations of parents in this sample ranged from positions in unskilled labor to positions in major businesses and as professionals.
  9. Parents were asked to complete a demographics questionnaire that assessed their marital status, education level, and current occupation, as well as those of their child's other parent. A listing of a current occupation by each parent for themselves and their child's other parent was used to determine the number of breadwinners in the family.
  10. The Bem Sex-Role Inventory was used to assess participants' perceptions of their own gender role. This instrument consists of 60 adjectives, 20 of which are stereotypically masculine, 20 stereotypically feminine, and 20 neutral.Using a 7-point scale that ranges from never or almost never true to always or almost always true, participants indicated how well each adjective described them.
  11. Mothers and fathers were asked to indicate the amount of time they were spending in direct interaction with and being accessible to their own child(ren) in an average week day and in an average weekend day.
  12. These questions were posed in an open-ended format, so that each parent was allowed to estimate the exact amount of time they were spending in direct interaction with their children and being accessible to their children.
  13. In addition, mothers and fathers were asked to indicate how much responsibility they took for school work, discipline, caretaking, and fun activities with regard to their child(ren) in comparison to their child(ren)'s other parent. For each activity, mothers and fathers were asked to rate their responsibility on a scale that ranged from 1 (I do it all) to 9 (my child's other parent does it all).
  14. Finally, mothers and fathers were asked to rate their satisfaction with their parenting activities on a scale that ranged from 1 (completely unsatisfied) to 9 (completely satisfied).

The Results

  1. Overall mothers were spending more time on an average weekday, weekend day in direct interaction with their children.
  2. Mothers also reported being more accessible to their children on an average weekend day.
  3. Mothers were significantly more likely to indicate that they were taking responsibility for child-related activities in comparison to fathers.

Fathers were significantly more likely to be satisfied with their role in child-related activities than were mothers.

Conclusion

  1. As a result of these findings, there did not appear to be overall differences in the amount of time parents were spending in direct interaction with or being accessible to their children based on the sex of the parent, masculinity, femininity, marital status, or earner status.

Discussion

  1. The sex of the parent, gender role, marital status, and earner status did not predict the amount of time parents were spending in direct interaction with their children or being accessible to their children.
  2. The amounts of time parents were spending in direct interaction with their children and being accessible to their children were higher than those reported by other researchers, however the sample of parents examined in the current study, which consisted of individuals affiliated with a university community, may be spending more time with their children because they believe that this time is important or because they may have more flexible schedules that permit more time with their children.
  3. Further, these individuals may have less traditional role theories which could result in this lack of difference. As a result, the similarity in the amounts of time mothers and fathers were spending with their children may be different from that seen in community parent samples.
  4. These findings indicate that the historical trend of mothers taking primary responsibility for children in families has continued, even at a time when more mothers and fathers are part of dual-earning families.

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