Patterns of child rearing. 1958.


Patterns of child rearing. 1958.

This study was undertaken in order to study child-rearing practices and values: how parents raise their children, the effects of different practices on the children, and the causes of parental choice of one method over another. In 1951-1952, interviews were conducted with 379 suburban mothers who had at least one child in kindergarten. The selection of participants was also based on several other criteria aimed at both reducing the number of potentially confounding variables and ensuring some controlled variation on dimensions of interest (e.g., social class and religious background). In 1958, when the children were approximately 12 years old, the children were recontacted. Of the 379 children in the original sample, 160 participated in the follow-up, along with 377 other sixth graders who had not been in the original study. In 1951, each woman was interviewed in her home by a trained interviewer using a standardized schedule. The interview included questions concerning background and demographic characteristics; feeding; toilet training; use of rewards and punishments in teaching (e.g., table manners); sex and modesty training; neatness; assignment of chores; achievement expectations in school; the child's expression of aggression and the parents' reaction; the parents' sharing of child-care tasks, decisions about child training, leisure time activities, and financial matters; the respondent's reactions to the timing of the child; the influence of becoming a mother on work and outside interests; and the differences that the respondent perceived between her current child-rearing practices and her own experiences as a child. The second wave included scales of masculinity-femininity, self-concept, nurturance, adult v. child role choice, aggressive attitude, a story completion measure of guilt, and a realistic test situation for the measureof resistance to guilt. The Murray Center holds copies of transcribed interviews and computer-accessible data for the 1951-1952 study and computer data for the 1958 follow-up. The Murray Center also has data from follow-up studies of this sample conducted by Edwards (1968), McClelland (1978), and Crowne (1965).

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