Young children's perceptions of parenting roles

Arleen Fishman Block, Fordham University


This study was designed to examine young children's perceptions of parental child rearing roles in relation to their parents' reported perceptions of parental child rearing roles. The target population consisted of two-parent families, half of whom were characterized on the basis of their single-earner status, and half on the basis of their dual-earner status. Two measures, a structured Children's Interview of Parenting Roles and a Parent Questionnaire of Parenting Roles, were developed for the purpose of this investigation. Prior to the actual study, pilot procedures which included expert, parent, and child participants were conducted. The study was carried out through a mail distribution process, whereby parent volunteers were solicited to complete and return the parent questionnaires. Individual interviews were conducted with kindergarten age children of cooperating parents. The interviews were then scored and correlated with the results of the parent questionnaires. No significant differences were found between groups of parents, nor groups of children, based on earner status alone. Analysis based on gender of the children did result in significant differences between groups. The interaction between gender and earner status, for children, however, proved to be nonsignificant. Correlational analyses revealed significance in the relationship between boys and their parents, and boys and girls and their parents, regarding the degree to which mothers perform stereotypical maternal roles. The remaining hypothesized relationships between children and parents were found to be nonsignificant. Finally, supplementary analyses established the presence of several significant variables among nonhypothesized relationships.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Social psychology|Elementary education|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Block, Arleen Fishman, "Young children's perceptions of parenting roles" (1994). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9511229.