An examination of authoritarianism in child-rearing attitudes as manifested by foster parents

Gabriel, Reginald (1978) An examination of authoritarianism in child-rearing attitudes as manifested by foster parents. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

A review of child welfare literature suggested that foster parents tend to manifest authoritarian child-rearing attitudes, resulting in foster children being exposed to inadequate parenting. A concurrent review of research literature related to families and socialization theory found that authoritarian child-rearing attitudes do have detrimental effects on the socialization of the child. It was thought that, if Newfoundland foster parents were similar to foster parents in the child welfare studies reviewed, they would reflect authoritarian child-rearing attitudes which would be related to their parenting adequacy. -- Methodology provided for the examination of the child-rearing attitudes of a population of foster parents serviced by a local child welfare agency. The foster parents were divided in two groups by child care social workers at the agency. They rated one group as more adequate, and the other as less adequate. Instruments used to examine their child-rearing attitudes consisted of six scales selected from the Parental Attitude Research Instruments--Mother Form and Father Form. The foster parents' demographic characteristics were examined. All respondents were personally interviewed. -- Descriptive measures were used to observe for differences between the more and less adequate foster parents in the study group. Data analysis revealed that foster parents in the study group did have demographic characteristics somewhat similar to those of foster parents studied in other countries. Differences between mean scores obtained for more adequate and less adequate foster parents on the attitude scales were minimal. Possible explanation lies in the fact that more adequate and less adequate foster mothers displayed marginal differences between means on both restrictive and permissive scales. Also, more adequate foster fathers tended to be less permissive on some scales than did the less adequate foster fathers. -- When examined as subgroups, foster mothers and foster fathers who were rated by agency social workers as being less adequate did show a tendency to be more authoritarian in their child-rearing attitudes than the more adequate foster mother and father subgroups. Overall, less adequate foster parents scored in the direction of being more authoritarian than more adequate foster parents, when taking into consideration the former's scores as subgroups. -- A final observation is that agency social workers did prove capable in rating the adequacy of foster parents in their caseloads. Their judgement was upheld in that the less adequate foster parents tended to be less permissive and more restrictive in their child-rearing attitudes, even though the differences were somewhat marginal.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7600
Item ID: 7600
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 96-103.
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: 1978
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Foster home care--Newfoundland and Labrador; Families--Newfoundland and Labrador; Authoritarianism

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