Date of Award

1978

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Curriculum and Instruction EdD

First Advisor

Ruth R. Murdoch

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

M. L. Merchant

Abstract

Problem. Parents' attitudes toward child rearing are considered to be a major factor affecting their children's study habits, study attitudes, and study skills achievement. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a correlation between parental attitudes toward child rearing and the study skills, study habits, and study attitudes of early adolescents toward their schoolwork.

Method. The student population used in the study were the 103 seventh- and eighth-grade students who were enrolled in Andrews Junior Academy at Berrien Springs, Michigan during the 1977-78 school year. The parents included in the study were the parents of these same early adolescents. The parents were asked to respond to the Maryland Parent Attitude Survey by Donald K. Pumroy (1966), while the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes, Form H, by Brown and Holtzman (1968), and the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, Form 6 were administered to the students. In order to maintain anonymity for all the respondents, the parental test numbers were matched with the student test numbers by a responsible person who, in turn, did not receive the final parental responses. Six hypotheses were formulated and projected for the study. Two of these dealt with maternal attitudes toward child rearing and their correlation with the student study habits, study attitudes, and study skills achievement. Two hypotheses were concerned with the paternal attitudes toward child rearing as they are correlated with the student study habits, study attitudes, and study skills achievement. The other two hypotheses included both maternal and paternal attitudes toward child rearing and combined these attitude variables with the study habits, study attitudes, and study skills achievement of the early adolescents. The study employed the canonical correlation comparison using a combination of sets of variables, and only those variables in any set whose weight was at least 50 percent of the maximum of that set were included.

Findings. The data analysis for the six hypotheses produced the following findings: (1) The student's high delay avoidance and education acceptance are significantly related to the mother's more disciplinarian, less protective and indulgent, but more rejecting attitudes toward child rearing. (2) The student's high delay avoidance and low education acceptance are significantly related to the father's more disciplinarian, less indulgent, and more protective attitudes toward child rearing. (3) The student's high education acceptance and low delay avoidance are significantly correlated with the more disciplinarian, less indulgent maternal attitudes and with the father's less disciplinarian, more indulgent, and less protective attitudes toward child rearing. (4) The more disciplinarian and indulgent, but less protective and rejecting mother attitude variables are significantly related to the student's high reading and high work-skills achievement but low vocabulary and low mathematics skills achievement. (5) The more disciplinarian, less protective and less indulgent father attitude variables are signficantly related to the student's low vocabulary and low mathematics skills achievement. (6) The more disciplinarian, less indulgent, less rejecting mother attitude variables are significantly related to the student's high reading skills achievement and low language skills achievement. The slightly indulgent, less protective, and slightly rejecting father attitude variables were not consistently significant to appear in the study analysis for this part of the study.

Conclusions. On the basis of the findings, the following conclusions emerged:

1. The findings of this study confirm the point mentioned in the review of literature that variables operate in combination because attitude is a very complex process (Craig, 1976; Douvan & Adelson, 1966; Hurlock, 1972; Hurlock, 1975).

2. It is clearly apparent that parents' attitudes toward child rearing do affect the students' study habits, study attitudes, and study skills achievement.

3. The father's attitudes toward child rearing have more effect on the student's study habits and study attitudes, while the mother's attitudes toward child rearing have more effect on the student's study skills achievement.

4. It can be concluded that the disciplinarian attitudes of the parents are a significant factor affecting the early adolescents' school attitudes and school habits, as well as their school performance. This agrees with the statement by White (1923) when she says, "but few parents realize that their children are what their example and discipline have made them" (p. 28).

Subject Area

Parent and child, Adolescence, Junior high school students.

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