The effect of short stature on parental achievement expectations and attitudes

Christine McMahon, Pace University

Abstract

This study examined the effect of short stature on parental achievement expectations and attitudes. Twelve white couples with two male children, one with short stature and one growing at a normal rate for his chronological age, completed, independently of each other, The Parent Response Questionnaire (PRQ) for each child. Husband and wife also completed, independently of each other, The Parent Attitude Research Instrument (PARI). An Analysis of Variance for the main effects of stature (short, normal) and spouse (husband, wife) was not significant and did not support the original hypothesis of diminished parental achievement expectations towards short stature children. An Analysis of Variance partially supported the second hypothesis. Significant differences were found between husbands' and wives' expectations towards sons' achievement behaviors in intellectual, artistic and physical areas regardless of the child's stature. Examination of individual subscales on the PRQ, specifically, the negative reactivity scores of husbands and wives shows a significant interaction between gender of spouse and child's stature in response to boys demonstrating achievement behaviors in mechanical and artistic areas. Short stature may exacerbate parental anxiety about greater vulnerability to physical injury in mechanical areas while artistic achievement behaviors may provoke anxiety associated with the development of more feminine behaviors in males. Suggestions for future research include examining fathers' perceptions of short stature sons' capabilities in mechanical and physical activities which fathers may view as potentially injurious to this child. A study which examined parental achievement expectations and attitudes towards short stature daughters would also provide insight concerning the effect of gender on parental response to girls demonstrating achievement behaviors. ^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology

Recommended Citation

Christine McMahon, "The effect of short stature on parental achievement expectations and attitudes" (January 1, 1990). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI9029393.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI9029393

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