Parenting perceptions and behaviors of preschool parents

2003 2003

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Perceptions and behaviors of parents of young preschoolers is a subject that has not been extensively researched. Many studies have explored global parenting styles and child developmental outcomes, rather than the way parents conceptualize their roles. Further, most research considers parenting typical children. However, parenting special needs children is challenging. When children with special needs are young, parents are faced with increased challenges along with the common struggle associated with parenting.

The Parent Role Development Theory (PRDT) (Mowder, 1991a, 1991b) is a theory proposed to explain how individuals' perceptions of parenting are modified over time. As children progress from childhood to adulthood, their parents' perceptions regarding the parent role change and develop. In this study, questionnaire data was utilized with parents of young children with typical and special needs. The Parent Role Brief Questionnaire (PRBQ) and Parent Behavior Questionnaire (PBQ) were completed by 79 parents of children at four preschools, to sample their perspectives on parenting.

Based on the PRDT, the PRBQ and PBQ were created by Mowder to better understand parents' perceptions and parenting activities. Statistical analysis was used to determine how parents of young children with either typical or special needs, conceptualize their roles. The results suggest developmental trends exist regarding how parents rate the importance of parenting characteristics.

Parents of special needs children rate parenting behaviors associated with general welfare and protection and sensitivity as most important, whereas parents of typical children deem education the most important characteristic. Parents of special needs children find that responsivity and sensitivity are more important than parents of typical children. Respondents' ratings of their perceptions, on the PRQ, are highly correlated to their parenting activities, as evident in their responses on the PBQ.

Assessment, consultation, and interventions with families of children with young children are discussed. Implications for the field of psychology are addressed. By understanding parenting perspectives, psychologists are better able to help parents utilize their parenting role most effectively. Further, effective communication between psychologists and parents can be facilitated with a discussion about useful parent-child assessments and interventions.

Indexing (details)

Families & family life;
Personal relationships;
0622: Psychotherapy
0628: Families & family life
0628: Personal relationships
0628: Sociology
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Psychology; Parenting; Preschool parents; Special needs
Parenting perceptions and behaviors of preschool parents
Sperling, Shoshana
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 64/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Mowder, Barbara
Pace University
University location
United States -- New York
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.