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The sharing of child development knowledge between grandmothers and mothers in the white and black populations is examined

to determine the impact of cultural, generational, and familial effects. Fifty-six white grandmother-mother dyads and 31 black dyads estimated the age at which an average child is capable of various developmental tasks. The age estimates for infant development given by black grandmothers and mothers were higher (i.e., older ages) than those of the white families. Mothers tended to expect developmental milestones for cultural development (learning nursery rhymes, manners, etc.) at a younger age than did the grandmothers.

A mother's attitudes and behavior toward her child may be influenced by her knowledge of child development. The concept of the thinking parent (Bell, 1979) suggests that parental cognitions, attitudes, and knowledge affect parental actions. Several studies have supported this concept. Mothers' knowledge of early infant development has been found to be positively correlated with their ability to interact with their child to enhance mental and affective develop-ment (Stevens, 1984). Parks and Smerglio (1986) found that in low socioeconomic status (SES) families, parenting knowledge of the relation-ship between caregiving and infant development was positively related to the quality of stimulation in the home, which in turn, was associated with the child's scores on an infant develop-ment scale. Differences in knowledge of child development norms were obtained between mothers who brought their children to psychological clinics and mothers who did not (Coon, Gott-fried, & Buxton, 1982; Rickard, Grazi-ano, & Forehand, 1984). The mothers who brought their children to clinics expected earlier development of social skills than did the other mothers (Coon et al., 1982). Since maternal knowledge about child development influences maternal child-rearing behavior and attitudes, it is important for practitioners (family life educators, therapists) to consider the systems that affect that knowl-edge. Bronfenbrenner (1977) has urged the investigation of the interdepend-ence of several systems at various levels. These systems include the indi-vidual, the immediate familial environ-ment, and the broader environment beyond the family. The interdepend-ence of these systems merits the atten-tion of practitioners. As practitioners try to

promote changes in a mother's childcare skills, they must recognize the effect of the family and the broader environment on the mother. Therefore, this study addresses three factors that may affect a mother's child development knowledge: the socio-cultural environment, familial influence, and mother's generation. Research related to each of the three factors will be presented, and the significance of the factors to child development knowledge will be highlighted.

Cultural Influences
Differences in parenting knowledge have been noted between cultures. In Israel, mothers of Asian- African origin had later age expectations of their children's perceptual and cognitive achievements than did European mothers (Ninio, 1979)

. Differences in developmental timetables have been noted between mothers in Japan and mothers in the United States (Hess, Kashigawi, Azuma, Price, & Dickson, 1980).

Japanese mothers expected earlier maturity of their children in the areas of self-control and emotional maturity, whereas U.S. mothers expected earlier development of verbal assertiveness and social skills.

Good-now, Cashmore, Cotton, & Knight (1984) found that Lebanese-born mothers expected their children to develop independence later than did Australian mothers.

Cultural differences between black and white families in child-rearing and child care attitudes in the United States are also evident. Bartz and Levine's study (1978) compared child care attitudes of the black and white families. They concluded that black families expect the child to be responsible at an earlier age and value strictness more than white families. Durrett, O'Bryant, and Pennebaker (1975) found that white fathers reported using fewer strict arbitrary rules than the black fathers. Therefore, since child

care differs across races, child development knowledge and the shar-ing of that knowledge within families is likely to differ across black and white populations.

Familial Influences

Familial influence has been demonstrated between generations by the amount of contact and by the similarity of attitudes. With the birth of the daughter's first child, mother-daughter contact appears to increase. Grandparents can provide emotional support, financial aid, and child-rearing advice to the parents

43% of the Chicago parents in Clarke-Stewart's study (1978) and 33% of the parents in Geboy's study (1981) sought advice on child care from their parents, the grandparents. In black families, Wilson (1984) found that grandmothers who resided with their daughter were more involved in the child care than those living in separate households.

Several studies have reported that family contact appears to be maintained as the grandparents age, with most older adults seeing at least one of their children weekly Similar attitudes are held by family members, as indicated by research on intergenerational influence between the parent and adolescent or college student . They noted that continuity across generations is illustrated by similarity in religious denominational affiliation and political party affiliation, but there is less similarity across generations in sex roles and life style characteristics (i.e., practicality, self-sufficiency, people orientation).

The degree of perceived emotional closeness within the family does not appear to affect the amount of shared beliefs between generations.

Families shared similar attitudes even though they did not feel emotionally close. The similarity of child care at-titudes and behaviors between mothers and daughters has been documented.

Cohler and Grunebaum (1981) found significant positive intergenerational relationships for appropriate control of aggression, encouragement of reciprocity, and competence in meeting the baby's needs.

Grandmothers and mothers in an experimental study by Blackwelder and Passman (1986) were more similar than different in their use of rewards and punishment with grandchildren. Two additional studies noted significant similarity between female college students and their mothers on child-rearing attitudes, such as feeding, discipline, and toilet training Given the amount of contact and the similarity of attitudes between mother and daughter, child development knowledge is expected to be shared also.

Generational Influence:
Although parents and adolescents share similar attitudes and mothers and daughters have similar child care attitudes,

Troll and Bengston (1979) reported little consistency about what was transmitted and the degree of similarity between the middle and older adult generations. For example, child-rearing values tended to be more similar between young adults and their parents than between the middle and oldest generations.

Factors such as generational effects are difficult to separate from family effects. Adults are not influenced solely by family or culture but rather by a combination of the two factors(generational and familial)

. Generational differences must be considered in conjunction with familial influences. As society changes over time, so does child development knowledge. Therefore, Acock (1984), in his discussion of the measurement of intergenerational transmission of at-titudes, argued for the measure of relative agreement across generations, rather than absolute agreement

. In other words, a daughter's opinion may not agree with, but can be predicted from, her parents' belief. The prediction of the daughter's score from the mother's score can be based on correlation or regression, when absolute agreement is not expected. One cannot assume that the information flow between adult generations is only unidirectional, flowing from older to younger. Rather information flows in both directions (Bell, 1979; Hoffman & Manis, 1978; Lerner & Spanier, 1978). Therefore, this research focuses on the sharing of information instead of the transmission, which would imply a unidirectional flow.

In summary, child care behavior and attitudes are influenced by culture, as indicated in research using mothers with Asian-African, Japanese, Lebanese, and American background. These differences are also manifested in black and white families. Although there are differences in some attitudes between generations, families still tend to share similar child care attitudes. If the factors of culture, family, and generation influence child care attitudes, then child development knowledge is likely to be affected by these same factors. The purpose of this study is to examine Q: the effect of culture, family, and generation on a mother's child development knowledge. The information gained from this investigation can aid practitioners in determining the most appropriate methods for affecting change in a mother's child care behavior or knowledge.

Method Subjects
Subjects were mothers who had children under the age of 10 years and their mothers. They were recruited from various Baton Rouge day care centers and preschools by letters, bulletin board notices, and presentations at parent meetings. These agencies served white or black middle-class families (i.e., were in middle-class neighborhoods and were funded by parents' fees).

Additional subjects were recruited through friends and colleagues. Questionnaires were given only to mothers who volunteered both to complete the questionnaire and to recruit their

mothers to complete it. Fifty-six white grandmother-mother dyads and 31 black dyads completed the questionnaire.

The ages of the mothers and grandmothers across races were similar

(white mothers: X = 30.9 years, range = 22-44 years; black mothers: X = 30 years, range = 17-42 years; white grandmothers: X = 56.8 years, range = 40-73 years; black grandmothers: X = 55.5 years, range = 37-75 years). 52% of the black mothers and 96% of the white mothers were married; 20% of black mothers and 4% of white mothers were divorced or separated; 28% of black mothers were single (never married). 66% of the black grand-mothers were married, 18% widowed, and 15% divorced. 75% of the white grandmothers were married, 16% widowed, 7% divorced or separated. The median number (1.39) and range (1-5) of children of the white mothers were slightly greater than the median (1.25) and range (1-4) of children of the black mothers. Black grand-mothers had more children (median = 3.32, range = 1-8) than the white grand-mothers (median = 2.59, range = 18), but fewer grandchildren (median = 2.83, range = 1-9 for blacks; median = 3.1, range = 1-30 for whites). Of the black grandmothers, 18.5% had an elementary education, 59.3% had completed high school, and 22.2% were college graduates. 74% of the white grandmothers had completed high school, and 26% were college graduates. 7% of the black mothers had an elementary education, 55% completed high school, and 38% were college graduates. Of the white mothers, 44% had completed high school and 54% were college graduates.

Questionnaire Development Original instrument.

Based on Piaget's and Geselt's development studies and the Denver and the Stanford-Binet scales, the original 60-item Child Development Norms (CDN) Questionnaire measured the information a person possesses about the age at which a typical child is capable of performing various social, cognitive, and motor skills (Coon et al., 1982). A factor analysis of the questionnaire was conducted, using the responses of 210 college students and 90 parents. Two additional studies (Coon et al., 1982) indicated differences on all factors between parents and nonparents in estimating typical ages of development, and differences on the socialcommunication factor between mothers who referred their children to clinics and nonclinical mothers. The clinic/nonclinic comparison showing differences on the social factor alone is interpreted as evidence of the factorial validity of the instrument. Efforts to test the reliability and validity of the measure are in progress.

For this study, the coverage of this questionnaire was expanded to include 40 additional items generated from interviews and open-ended questionnaires from mothers and grandmothers who gave information about their child grandchilds major developmental milestones during the past year (e.g., shares toys, learns nursery jingles).

With the additional items, the revised questionnaire now contains a broad sampling of child development milestones, from both the professional and mother/grandmother perspectives. Factor analysis of expanded questionnaire. A factor analysis of the revised questionnaire generated four factors, three of which covered specific domains and a restricted age range. A fourth factor showed little consistency among the items and therefore will not be discussed further.

1. The first factor, infant develop-ment (0-2 years), includes maternally directed child behaviors that begin before the child's social interaction broadens to include other persons, such as eye contact with the mother and recognition of mother's voice.

2. The cultural skills factor, covers ages 2 to 4 years and includes complex skills, such as learning nursery rhymes, inviting friends to play, and dressing oneself. These patterns may be described as conventional, culturally prescribed skills.

3. The socio-emotional developmental factor (ages 4 to 6 years) contains behaviors such as showing empathy, recognizing the difference between fiction and reality, and expressing guilt.

Relationship/Contact Questionnaire
A six-item, multiple-choice questionnaire was constructed to assess the amount and type of contact between the mother and grandmother. Cherlin and Furstenberg (1986) noted that distance between grandparents and parents strongly affected the amount of contact between grandparents and grandchildren. The emotional closeness between grandparents and mother also influenced contact. Therefore, three items, each with five response options, measured amount of contact:

Distance between the mother's and grandmother's homes (from same home to over an hour's drive);

frequency of visits (from daily to yearly); and

frequency of phone calls (from daily to yearly).

These item scores were summed to obtain an amount of contact score. On each contact item a score of 1 indicated maximum contact and a score of 5 indicated minimum contact. The magnitude of the score is inversely related to amount of contact; a low score indicates frequent contact. Thus, the magnitude of the contact score is inversely related to frequency of contact. The remaining three items measured the mother's and grandmother's perception of support that grand-mother gave to mother. Respondents rated level of information-giving, emotional support, and tangible assistance (based on

categories of Folkman & Lazarus, 1985). Responses ranged from 1 to 5: a response choice of 1 indicating that support was less than needed; 5, more than needed; and 3 as the right amount of support. The item scores were transformed into a 3-point scale. A score of 3 indicated optimal satisfaction and values of 1 or 2 reflected the degree of dissatisfaction. Response choices for the three items were summed, a low score indicating a perception of dissatisfaction.

Results ANOVA
For all the analyses, factor scores for each grandmother and each mother were calculated by summing the product of each item score and its factor loading. In a split plot analysis of variance for each of the factors, a race difference was indicated on the infant development factor and a generation difference was found on the cultural development factor. There were no significant results for the other factors. No significant interaction effect of race and generation on any of the factors was found.

The estimates of age given by black grandmothers and mothers for infant development were higher (i.e., older ages) than those of the white families [F(1, 85) = 6.65, p = .01].

For cultural development, mothers estimated developmental milestones at a younger age than did the grandmothers [F(1, 85) = 7.71,p < .01].

Regression Analysis For each factor, a hierarchical multiple regressions was employed to evaluate the relative agreement between grandmother's and mother's scores and the effect of contact and perception on mother's score.

The analysis was done separately for black and white families. In the first equation, grandmother's score and mother's age were used to predict mother's score. (Eq1) Mother's age was in-cluded as a possible moderator variable.

(Eq2) amount of contact and perception of that contact was added to the equation to determine whether the prediction improved.

Table 1 indicates the results of the regression analysis. A grandmother's score was a strong predictor of mother's score on all factors. However, neither maternal age nor contact with grandmother were good predictors of mother's scores. In the first regression equation, grandmother's score was a significant predictor of mother's score for all factors, but mother's age was not significant. The amount of variance accounted for in the initial equation was significant. When the amount of contact and perception of contact were added in the second equation, the amount of variance accounted for did not increase significantly. The findings were consistent across white and black families, however, the strength of the grandmother's score in predicting mother's score was greater in the black families.

These results highlight the influences beyond the nuclear family on a mother's child development knowledge. A mother's child development knowledge is significantly related to her mother's knowledge even when contact is minimal and when generational differences occur. A mother's socio-cultural background influences her knowledge of infant development and her generation influences her knowledge of cultural skill development.

The similarity between grand-mother's and mother's child development knowledge is consistent with other studies that show similarity of attitudes within families. Family similarity is maintained regardless of amount of contact. The amount of contact between mother and grandmother and mother's perception of that contact did not contribute to the prediction of mother's score in this study. This finding agrees with other research (Troll & Bengston, 1979)

that indicated that family closeness did not affect transmission. Although mother's contact was correlated with both mother and grandmother CDN scores on infant development, it was not a significant predictor in the regression. Perhaps, the shared knowledge is shaped prior to motherhood, when the two women are sharing much of their time together. Alternately, it can be argued that similarity between mother and grand-mother on child development knowledge is related to similarity in schooling. The results of this study do not preclude this possibility. The comparison of child development knowledge of mothers and daughters with different educational backgrounds would aid in clarifying this issue. Although family similarity occurred on all four factors, there was a generational difference on cultural skill development. Mothers expected earlier cultural development than the grand-mothers. This finding appears to coincide with the current trend of encouraging children to read earlier and progress faster than in past generations. The results indicated a racial difference in estimates of developmental rate for infant development.

Black mothers and grandmothers consistently reported older ages on infant development items than did white grandmothers and mothers.

To explore explanatory concepts that bear on these results, opinions were solicited from 22 black mothers attending an in-service course at Southern University- Baton Rouge. Twenty of these 22 mothers endorsed the idea that black families regard developmental timing as less important than white families. Other possible reasons were endorsed by fewer than five mothers. With respect to the specific results, the informants stated that, in their view, subjects gave maximal ages to ensure inclusion of the appropriate age. Further, the classroom respondents stated that in the multiple care-taker situation found in their community, close attention to the details of child development is not commonly practiced.

The limitations of the study should be noted. The sample was not randomly selected, which restricts the generalizability of the results.

Since the method of recruiting subjects was to ask mothers to complete the questionnaire and to recruit their mothers (the grandmothers), perhaps those mothers who responded have more

contact with their mothers than those who did not respond. Another difficulty related to the selfreport nature of the measure. Although participants were asked not to collaborate on the answers, they may have shared answers.

Further research is needed to clarify the familial process of sharing knowledge and to explain the cultural differences. Mother-grandmother similarity needs to be considered in other socioeconomic groups, other racial groups, and other countries. Further research will provide insight into the factors influencing child development knowledge mothers and grand-mothers.

Implications for Practice:

The effect of cultural, familial, and generational factors on a mother's child development knowledge as indicated in this study confirms the inter-dependence of these systems. Indeed, the mother's knowledge, which is affected by her culture, family, and generation, in turn, influences her behavior. As discussed previously, a mother's child development knowledge is related to her behavior (Parks & Smerglio, 1986; Stevens, 1984). Thus, the mother whose family has excessively high or low expectations of children may treat her child differently than the mother who receives more ap-propriate expectations from her family. The importance of the mother's knowledge cannot be underestimated by practitioners as educators and therapists. Educators need to consider influences of culture, family, and generation on mothers' knowledge. For example, if white mothers have different expectations than black mothers, they may respond differently to suggestions on how to interact with their infant. A white mother may want her child to develop quickly, and actively implement any suggestions, whereas a black mother, content with the progress of her child, may not apply the recommendations. Different motivational techniques and different information may be necessary for varied cultures. Additionally, educators need to keep in mind that much of the mother's information is based on her own mother's knowledge. The mother will not accept all information readily, especially if it is in disagreement with familial information. Perhaps, education could also be extended to include grandmothers. Therapists

(counselors, social workers, etc.) should be aware of the cultural, familial, and generational factors which influence a mother in both assessment and treatment. The relationship between a mother and a child cannot be viewed in isolation. Comprehensive assessment includes the cultural, familial, and generational factors as they impact the mother's knowledge. This study indicates that the mother's culture will affect her knowledge of infant development; her generation will affect her knowledge of cultural skill development; and her own mother's knowledge will affect most of her knowledge. During treatment, practitioners must continue to consider the influence of culture, family, and generation on the mother. If a change of the mother's behavior and knowledge is sought, the plan might involve the grandmother in facilitating the change, rather than trying to change the mother's behavior without the assistance of the grandmother. Practitioners need to recognize the contribution of culture, family, and generation to a mother's child development knowledge. Education and treatment plans should be based on the specific characteristics of the mother so that maximal benefit can result. The effectiveness of intervention plans will depend, in part, on the incorporation of objectives related to culture, family, and generation.