Parental perceptions of children's competencies

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Park, Choon-Sim
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Child Development

The purpose of this study was to conduct a factor analysis on the parents' Iowa Parent Assessment of Child Inventory (IPACI) responses in order to develop further the IPACI. The study included the examination of relationships between demographic variables of subjects and the parents' IPACI responses;Subjects were 256 families involving 200 mother-fathers pairs and 56 single parents. A total of 256 preschool and elementary school children with a mean age of 94 months were represented in the sample of parents;Mean IPACI item responses indicated that both mothers and fathers, in general, rate their children as above average, and mothers rate their children's competencies higher than fathers. Sex differences in children's competencies were clearly demonstrated by both parents. Boys were perceived to have higher physical-motor and intellectual competencies than girls, but girls were perceived to have higher artistic ability than boys. Mothers' ratings were higher and more variable for both boys and girls than those of fathers. Boys' competencies were more variably perceived by both parents than those of girls;Correlational data revealed that sex of child was more significantly and positively related to fathers' than to mothers' responses, and age of child was more significantly and negatively related to mothers' than to fathers' responses. Parents' education was highly and significantly related to children's intellectual competencies;A factor analysis resulted in identifying seven factors for mothers and six factors for fathers. The identified factors were: Responsibility-Taking, Physical-Motor, Art, Nice, Intelligence, Social, and Music. Of these, Social Factor was not found for fathers. The existence of discriminant validity was evident for six of the seven factors;Correlations of factor scores with independent variables indicated that number of boys or number of girls in the families correlated significantly with Art, Responsibility-Taking, and Music Factors. Parents' education correlated significantly with the Intelligence Factor. Sex of child did not correlate significantly to any of the factors for mothers, but did correlate significantly to the factors of Art and Music for fathers;Results were discussed and limitations of the study and implication for further research were considered.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1981