Structural analysis of mothers' attitudes toward child rearing in four communities in Appalachia

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lucinda A. Noble (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Mary Elizabeth Keister

Abstract: One of the present needs in parent education is to have an objective means of determining, in a parental education/intervention program, what attitudes are held toward child rearing and family life. This information can then he used as a basis for planning relevant programs for parents. It was with this concern in mind that the study was implemented. The study was an attempt to provide base line information on the attitudes held by mothers in rural, low-level-of-living areas toward child rearing and family life practices. The purposes of the study were: (l) to present evidence of the validity and reliability of the Parental Attitude Research Instrument (PARI) with, a random sample of mothers from a rural, low-level-of-living area of Appalachia; (2) to identify some attitudes of mothers of first grade children toward child rearing and family life as measured by the PARI; and (3) to compare the response to the PARI of the Appalachia mothers with the response given by middle-class mothers in two other selected studies. The population of this study consisted of a sample of 101 mothers of first grade children in four western counties of North Carolina: Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, and Yancy. The validation procedure used in the study was construct validation. This involved: (a) determining group differences; (b) studies of change over occasions; (c) studies of internal structure; and (d) observing the test-taking process. Factor analyses were carried out to determine the underlying factors within each of the sub-scales and among the sub-scales. A single analysis of variance was performed on the mean scores of three groupings of respondents to determine significant group differences relative to age and education of the mother-respondent, occupation of the father, and number of children in the family. The factor analysis among the sub-scales resulted in the identification of five factors which appeared to underlie a variety of discrete parental attitudes. The five factors were labeled: Contentment-Discontentment, Authoritarian-Control; Confidence-Lack of Confidence; Democratic Attitudes; and Instrumental Role of Parents. It was concluded from the results of the analysis of variance that the four hypotheses of the research were supported. Namely, that there were differences in mean scores on sub-scales: related to the age of the respondent; related to the educational level of the respondent; related to the occupation of the father; and when the number of children in the family was taken into account. The results supported the contention that the Parental Attitude Research Instrument is useful as a phase one measuring device. The validation of a reliable instrument with a sample of mothers from a rural, low-level-of-living area of Appalachia was seen as a desirable first step-to developing meaningful programs for adults in their roles as parents.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1969
parenting, parental education
Mother and child $z Appalachian Region
Families $x Research $z Appalachian Region
Child rearing $z Appalachian Region
Mothers $z Appalachian Region $x Attitudes

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