Title

Three Dimensions of the Parental Role in Selected Childrens' Literature 1950-1974

Date of Award

8-1-1975

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Teaching & Learning

Abstract

In this study the conceptualization of the parental, role in selected children's books was analyzed. The analysis of the parenting figure (i.e., the character who undertook the care and responsibility of the child for a continuous length of time) was accomplished using the following three dimensions: (1) Need-Gratification and Control, (2) Stimulation-Maturity, (3) Affection-Emotional Interchange.

The sample consisted of twenty-six books representing txjo time periods 1950-1960 (Early Period) and 1964-1974 (Later Period) equally. A comparison between these two periods was made in view of changes in the characterization of the parenting role. This included looking at the above three dimensions of parental behavior, the family structure, and the parenting figure as a role model. The findings of this study suggest the following conclusions:

1. The past twenty-four year period has seen a move towards the depiction of a parenting figure xtfho appears less emotionally supportive and acceptive of the fictional child, while at the same time more concerned about the child's development intellectually, socially, and emotionally.

2. The above change appears to have occurred to a greater degree within the past decade 1964-1974 than during the earlier decade 1950-1960 of the study.

3. Within the past ten years, there has been a lessening of emphasis placed on the portrayal of all families being of nuclear construction and a subsequent depiction of alternative family life styles.

4. There is a greater diversity of adult parenting and nonparenting role related behaviors available to children reading the more recently published trade books than was available during the period of the 1950's.

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