Use of an Opinion Polling Technique in a Study of Parent-Child Relationships

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PURDUE UNIVERSITY

THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT THE THESIS PREPARED UNDER MY SUPERVISION

BY

Clarence G# Haekett

ENTITLED

ITse of An Opinion Polling Technique in a Study

of Parent-Child Relationships

COMPETES WITH THE UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS ON GRADUATION THESES

AND IS APPROVED BY ME AS FUEFIEEING THIS PART OF THE REQUIREMENTS

FOR THE DEGREE OF

Doctor of Philosophy

Professor

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Do most young people find a lot of things to criticize about their parents? (a) Often (b) Sometimes (c) Hardly ever

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- 85 -

that their opinions conflict with mothers1 opinions on the degree to which parents should interfere in their children's occupational planning, or use whipping and scolding as punishment*

The mothers

feel that these same items represent issues over which children's opinions would conflict with their own.

Actually, these are items

upon which mothers and children give approximately the same answers * Referring back to previous tables, one finds that these three items do show a significant degree of Actual-Conflict between children and fathers.

It appears, then, that the children have failed to differen­

tiate between the attitudes of mothers and fathers on these issues. In a like manner, five of the six items listed in Table 24 as items on which Felt-Conflict with fathers alone is indicated are items on which a significant degree of Actual-Conflict with mothers exists. Here too, it appears, no differentiation between the attitudes of mothers and fathers is made by the children. Both children and parents agree that their opinions conflict on the extent to which parents should talk to their children about sexual problems and the extent to which parents treat children as if they were younger than they really are.

On both of these items, however,

children, mothers, and fathers show no significant difference of opinion through the comparison of their answers for themselves. The remaining category evolving from the consideration of the Felt-Conflict scores and the Actual-Conflict scores together is that for those items where a significant degree of Actual-Conflict appears while Felt—Conflict for the same item is below the level of statis­ tical significance.

There are no items in this category for the

86

Felt-Conflict scores of the parents *

The children’s scores that fall

into this classification are shown in Table 26.

All but one of the

items listed in this table are designated as issues over which con­ flicting opinions exist between the children and the fathers, where the children are not aware of this conflict.

One interpretation of

these results would be that they suggest that children do not feel so strongly involved emotionally with fathers as with mothers and are, hence, not so aware of the fathers’ attitudes. Interpretations of the Empathy Scores The ability of one group to estimate the response of another group within the limits that can be accounted for by chance alone (here arbitrarily set as a difference that would occur by chance less than once in one hundred times) is regarded in the present study as an indi­ cation of Empathy.

The items on which the children appear to have

empathized with the parents are listed in Table 27, while those on which the parents appear to have empathized with the children are listed in Table 28.

Qualitative differences in the scores indicating

lack of Empathy are given in subsequent tables. As is indicated in Table 27, the children are able to estimate accurately the opinions both parents have regarding petting as a practice on dates and driving the family car on dates.

In addition

to their accuracy in estimating parents’ attitudes on these issues, they know what mothers * opinions are concerning the parents’ role in choosing adolescents’ clothes and protecting their children from mak­ ing mistakes and the discussion of dates with parents.

They also



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■the fathers have underestimated the children*s desire to have their parents talk to them about physical relationships between the sexes* The mothers alone feel that children are less inclined to think that it is all right for young people to "go steady11 than the children actually think*

The fathers alone believe that young people would desire to have

their parents make their occupational plans for them to a greater extent than the children actually desire. In considering the possibility of projection here, the position of Item 35 in this table (Table 30B) might be compared with its position in Table 29B.

The estimated responses for both the parents and the chil­

dren to this question, "Should parents talk to their children about physical relationships between the sexes ?", deviate from the actual re­ sponses in the same direction*

Thus, it appears that both the parents

and the children effectively excuse their own anxiety surrounding the discussion of sexual matters by assigning reluctance to the other. On the questions of "fact," when the children*s estimate of the parents * response deviates significantly from the parents* actual re­ sponse in a positive direction, it is interpreted as an indication that the parents believe that most parents are permissive, respectful, and understanding toward adolescents to a greater extent than the children have estimated the parents would believe. cation appear in Table 31A.

The items in this classifi­

Conversely, a deviation in a negative

direction is interpreted as an indication that the parents feel that most parents are more restrictive or lacking in understanding in their dealings with adolescents than the children have estimated the parents would feel.

The items classified in this way appear in Table 31B.

- 97 -

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The information in Table 31A* then, indicates that both the mothers and the fathers are more likely than the children have estimated to feel that parents do trust their children, are interested in what their chil­ dren think important, and do think their children's opinions worth-while• Mothers alone are more apt than the children estimate to say that parents do not love their children less as they grow older and do not feel that high grades are the most important thing a student can get out of school* Fathers alone are more inclined than the children estimate to feel that parents are strict enough or too easy in the way they handle their children of high school age* The manner in which the mechanism of projection is seen to operate on these questions of "fact" is somewhat more complex than the way in which it appears to operate with the "opinion" items*

For example, the

relationship between the estimated responses and the actual responses for parents on Item 26,

"Do parents really trust their children as much

as they could?", suggests that the children have projected into their an­ swer for parents the wish that parents would trust them more.

Thus, the

children might feel, if parents would say they do not trust their chil­ dren as much as they could, there exists the possibility that they (the parents) might reform and trust their children more.

Similarly, in the

child's feelings, if the father does not already believe that he is "too easy" in the way he handles his child, room is left for the father to relax the vigilance of his discipline* The items listed in Table 3IB are those for which the direction of the deviation between estimate and actual response goes in the opposite direction from that of the items in Table 31A*

Here, it is indicated

- 99

that the mothers and the fathers both believe, to a greater extent than is estimated by the children, that parents are inclined to treat their children as if they were younger than they really are and to talk too much about the things they think their children ought to do# The fathers alone think parents do worry too much about their children "going bad" and do "play favorites" in their treatment of different children in the family, more than the children estimate the fathers would think. It appears that in these items the children show a projected need for something to rebel against#

The children's answers to Item 18 in­

dicate that they feel parents are prone to treat their children as if they were younger than they really are.

In the children's feelings, if

parents agree with them that this is true, there is no argument in the matter, whereas, if the parents would not agree with them, they have a base from which to work in their striving toward a more nearly adult status. The items on which the parents' estimate of the children's re­ sponses to the questions of "fact" deviate in a positive direction from the actual position of the children on these items are listed in Table 32.

Deviations in this direction are interpreted as an indication that

the children have a stronger belief that parents are permissive, respect­ ful, and understanding than the parents estimate the children would have. In the parents ' estimates there are no items on which a negative devia­ tion from the children's position is shown.

In other words, there are

no items on which the children indicate a stronger belief that parents are restrictive or lacking in understanding than the parents have

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paired responses.

In other words, they show the percentage of the

paired responses in each group that were in complete agreement with each other* Considered separately, without the difference-scores, these per­ centages would also be misleading. clear.

A few examples will make this more

Table 33A indicates that 58^ of the children gave precisely the

same response for themselves as they estimated for fathers on Item 13. Reference to Table 15 shows that there is not a significant mean FeltConflict score in this case.

This would indicate that the remaining

42% of the children, whose responses did not agree, distributed them­ selves so nearly evenly on either side of the zero-difference point that their lack of agreement could be interpreted statistically only as a chance error. On this same item, only 4% fewer of the children, 54%, gave ex­ actly the same response for themselves as they estimated for mothers. In this case, however, the mean Felt-Conflict score is a significant one.

This indicates that the remaining 46% of the children, whose

responses did not agree, tended to pile up on one side of the zerodifference point.

Thus, those who do not feel they would agree with

mothers on this issue tend to feel they would disagree in a certain direction in sufficient number to be of statistical significance. In regard to the content of this item, No. 13, it can be said then that about half of the children feel themselves to be in com­ plete agreement with both mothers and fathers on the question of whether or not parents should choose their children's clothes.

In

terms of the group, children who do not feel fathers would agree with

- 106 -

them on the answer to this question are divided about equally into those who think fathers would be more inclined than themselves to be­ lieve that parents should choose their children's clothes and those who think fathers would be less inclined than themselves to have that attitude.

But the other half of the children who do not think mothers

would agree with them on the answer to this question tend to feel that mothers would believe more strongly than themselves that parents should choose their children's clothes. r It appears, then, that the information in Tables 33A and 33B, while not contributing substantially to the interpretation of the differencescores, may serve to give a more accurate picture of position of the sample on each of the questions. Results in Terms of Percentages The percentage of the total Ferndale sample of children and parents who responded to each alternative of each item, together with the per­ centage results for breakdowns of the sample of children according to sex and school grade and the sample of parents according to the sex of their children, is given in Appendix B.

- 107 -

CHAPTER VII SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Purpose The literature of the psychology of adolescence frequently refers to areas of tension between adolescents and the adult world, particu­ larly between adolescents and their parents.

These references are

usually based upon data derived from clinical observations of relatively few individuals or from large-scale surveys employing direct question­ ing techniques. The present study experiments with a somewhat different than usual technique for obtaining mass data concerned with parent-child relation­ ships.

Its principal purpose is to determine the nature of tensions

that tend to arise between adolescents and their parents over certain issues with which they are jointly concerned. Procedure Recognizing that tensions are not always based upon objective fact, this study approaches the problem of measuring them indirectly.

Both

adolescents and their parents have been asked to report on their own attitudes and on the estimated attitudes of each other, in order to ob­ tain measures of the discrepancies that may exist between these reports. Specifically, measurements are made on three aspects of tensions in the parent-child relationships of adolescents.

- 108

1.

Felt-Conflictt

The discrepancy between the individual's report

of his own attitudes and his report on corresponding items of the attitudes of other members of his family. 2.

Actual-Conflicts

The discrepancy between the child's report

of his attitudes and the parent's report of his attitudes on corresponding items. 3.

Empathy : The accuracy with which each group— parents and children--is able to estimate the other's attitude on corres­ ponding items .

The issues on which these measurements are made were derived from two principal sources : previous studies in this area disclosing the importance of certain issues and essays on "problems" written by a large sample of high school students. A list of sixty-one questions was com­ piled from this material and was later reduced to the thirty-two included in the final draft of the questionnaire. two general types :

The form of the question is of

one type asks for an expression of "opinion” as to

whether or not parents or young people should take a certain course of action, while the other type is stated as a question of "fact”— do parents have certain attitudes or behave in certain ways? The questionnaire was prepared as an opinion poll and was distrib­ uted through the facilities of the Purdue Opinion Panel to approximately 15,000 students in high schools throughout the nation.

A report to the

participating schools on the general results of this poll has been published elsewhere. (15) In order to investigate certain methodological considerations in the administration of a poll of this type, two forms of presentation

-

of the items were prepared for administration to the students»

109

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Form A

provides the opportunity to make three responses to each item (for self, for mother, and for father) consecutively, allowing the respondent to see easily and compare the similarities or differences between his three responses to each item.

Form B presents first all of the items to be

answered for himself, then all of the items to be answered for mothers and, finally, all of the items to be answered for fathers.

Form A re­

ceived general distribution while Form B was used in only one community, on a random half of that population.

An additional form of the poll,

including items identical to those in the other two forms, was prepared for distribution to a sample of parents. Conventional statistical methods for estimating the reliability of differences are employed in the analysis of the discrepancies between the various reports of attitudes on each item in the questionnaire.

No

attempt is made to scale these items or to produce a single test of parent-child tensions.

Rather, the thirty-two questions are treated as

single-item tests of tensions on thirty-two specific issues.

However,

some generalizations, based upon the apparent relationships between the difference-scores for the items, are proposed. The 1% level of confidence has been arbitrarily established as the criterion for indicating significance or lack of significance in the difference-scores. The Samples Three populations are included in the study.

The first is a strati­

fied sample of 2,610 adolescents, made as representative as possible of

110 -

the national population of high school students.

Inasmuch as this

sample is comprised exclusively of adolescents, only measures of FeltConflict, or differences the children feel to exist between their own attitudes and the attitudes of parents, are made on this group*

The

results obtained from this sample are considered to be representative of the attitudes of the nation's high school youth. The second population is a group of 197 high school students, their mothers and their fathers, from one community— Ferndale, Michigan.

The

students in this sample, part of whom are also included in the national sample, responded to the same form of the poll (Form A) as did the national sample. The third sample is comprised of 200 adolescents, their mothers and their fathers, matched and identified as family groups, upon whose re­ sponses a large part of the analysis in this study is based.

The stu­

dents in this sample responded to the Form B questionnaire.

This sample

was also obtained from Ferndale, Michigan, and differs in composition from the national sample in that it is predominantly urban, Protestant, and of a higher economic level.

It may also be biased in an unknown

direction and to an unknown degree by the fact that it includes only families from which both parents voluntarily cooperated with the study. Because of these factors, this aspect of the study is regarded chiefly as an experiment with a method that might be applied to other studies in the area of parent-child relationships and the results are considered to apply only to the group upon which this part of the study is made. All of the types of measurement outlined above are included in this phase of the study.

- Ill -

Results Comparison of Forms.

The comparison of Form A and Form B of the

questionnaire yields inconclusive results.

The Felt-Conflict scores

for two samples of the same population (Ferndale, Michigan), each of whom responded to a different form of the poll, are compared on an item by item basis.

Only four of the sixty-four comparisons show dif­

ferences that are significant at the 1% level of confidence or higher. Comparison is also made of the Felt-Conflict scores of the Ferndale sample responding to Form B and the national sample, which responded to Form A.

Differences significant at the 1% level of confidence are

found on ten of the sixty-four comparisons made here. In considering the magnitude and direction of these differences together with the magnitude and direction of the differences obtained on the same items with the two Ferndale samples, it is suggested that they may be related to the form of presentation.

Thus, while definite

proof is lacking, there may be some validity to the hypothesis that the manner of presentation of the items will yield different types of re­ sults, that could be uncovered by a larger sample or a more sensitive instrument. Felt-Conflict. Analysis of the Felt-Conflict scores of the national sample appears to justify the following conclusions : 1.

There is no issue represented in the questionnaire upon which adolescents do not indicate that they feel themselves at odds with the adult world, in the terms that conflicting attitudes are defined in this study.

- 112 -

2.

The degree of Felt-Conflict tends to vary between the parents of either sex#

The fact that a higher degree of Felt-Conflict

is evident on a much larger number of items, as well as the content of these items, suggests that the adolescents feel more deeply involved emotionally with mothers than with fathers# They appear to feel that mothers are more likely than fathers to wish to exercise control over them and less willing than fathers to admit the extent to which they lack understanding of or interest in their children, 3#

There is some evidence in the rank order of the items to indi­ cate that adolescents feel greater conflict with parents on issues relating to relationships with or status among their peers than they feel over issues concerned more with relation­ ships within the family group• A high degree of Felt-Conflict JLs also indicated on questions having to do with disciplinary measures #

4#

Qualitative analysis of the percentage of responses to each al­ ternative on certain items, according to various breakdowns of the population, suggests the following tentative conclusions $ a#

Older high school students tend to show somewhat greater Felt-Conf lict with parents than do the younger ones#

b.

Boys tend to be less in agreement with the attitudes of parents than do girls•

c#

Children whose parents have had more education tend to think of parents as being more permissive in their relationships with adolescents but indicate as much as or greater

115 -

Felt-Conflict with parents than do those whose parents have had less education* d.

The breakdowns of the population tend to show greater variability in their "opinions" of what parents or young people should do than they show in their expression of what they believe are the "facts" concerning parents’ at­ titudes or behavior.

Analysis of the Felt-Conflict scores of the children in the Ferndale sample indicates general conclusions similar to those based upon the national sample. Analysis of the Felt-Conflict scores of the parents in the Ferndale sample indicates considerable agreement between the mothers and the fathers as to the issues on which they feel themselves to differ most with adolescents.

Several of the issues the parents seem to regard as

most likely to produce tensions have to do with their immediate control over their children. Aotual-Conflict.

The following conclusions appear in the analysis

of the Actual-Conflict scores of the Ferndale sample and in the compari­ sons of these scores with the scores for Felt-Conflicts 1.

There are fewer items on which a significant difference in attitudes of parents and of children is indicated through com­ parison of their actual responses than on which a felt difference is indicated by either parents or children.

2.

There is a tendency for greater actual difference in the atti­ tudes of the children and their parents to exist on issues concerned with social customs and moral conduct, similar to

- 114 -

those issues on which the children indicate greatest FeltConf lict • 3,

A higher degree of Actual-Conflict appears to exist over questions regarding "facts,f concerning parental attitudes than exists over questions regarding "facts" concerning parental behavior*

4.

Issues on which conflicting attitudes are both real and recog­ nized appear to be more numerous where mothers are concerned than where fathers are concerned*

5*

On certain issues the children have a tendency to fail to dif­ ferentiate between the attitudes of mothers and offathers

in

their estimates of the attitudes of either* 6*

The children do not appear to feel as strongly involved emotion­ ally with fathers as with mothers and are not as aware of the real attitudes of fathers as of mothers.

Empathy*

In the terms in which Empathy and lack of Empathy are de­

fined in this study, the following conclusions are drawn from the an­ alysis of the data for the Ferndale sample ; 1* Comparison of the number of items on which onegroup

tends to

estimate accurately the attitudes of another group suggests that the parents are somewhat better able to empathize with children (on these issues) than children are able to empathize with parents*

Mothers appear to be the most accurate group

in their estimates of the attitudes of children, while children are least accurate in their estimate of mothers•

- 115 -

2.

The children tend to be most accurate in their estimate of parents’ attitudes toward questions concerned with social cus­ toms or moral conduct and least accurate in their estimates of parents' attitudes concerning close relationships within the home.

3•

The operation of the mechanism of projection, as this term is used in psychological literature, appears to constitute a feasible explanation for the lack of ability of one group to empathize with another*

Acceptance of this explanation re­

sults in the following tentative interpretations $ a*

The children tend to project their unwillingness to follow their parents' desires in certain matters by misinterpret­ ing the strength of the parents' desire, thus relieving themselves of feelings of guilt they might otherwise have as a consequence of going counter to their parents' wishes•

b.

The children tend to cover their own wish for dependency of certain types by projecting their wishes upon parents in situations where it is not socially acceptable within the peer group to be dependent,

c*

The children tend to project their wish for greater expres­ sion of respect and affection from their parents by assign­ ing to their parents the attitude that parents are not sufficiently respectful and affectionate toward their ado­ lescent children,

d*

The children tend to indicate a projected need for some­ thing to rebel against by thinking of parents as being

- 116 -

unwilling to admit that their behavior toward adolescents is not as permissive or respectful as it might be. e.

The parents tend to project their own lack of interest in meeting socially accepted parental responsibility by assign­ ing to children a reluctance to conform.

f.

The parents tend to project their feelings of guilt regard­ ing the practices they follow in dealing with their adoles­ cent children by thinking of their children as protesting against these practices. Suggestions for Further Research

1.

The results of this study appear to warrant the use of similar techniques in further studies in the area of parent-child relationships.

The disadvantage of reliance upon responses to

single questions and the resulting complexity of the present interpretations of the data could be counteracted by the development of a simplified scoring procedure that would make the data adaptable to factor analysis or other scaling tech­ niques. •2.

With a total score for each individual on one or more single dimensional scales, the data could be subjected to analysis of variance.

3.

Inasmuch as parent-child relationships appear to be a factor important to the personality adjustments of the individual child, the practicability of adapting the Felt-Conflict meas­ ures of the present instrument to use in personal counseling

- 117 -

situations might be investigated»

Such use would, of course,

require that the respondent identify himself, and the effect of such identification upon the responses would also need to be studied. 4.

Relationships between Felt-Conflict scores and certain aspects of personality adjustment could be investigated through cor­ relation studies using available personality tests.

In such

studies it would be of value to distinguish between the issues on which the expression of Felt-Conflict describes an objectively real situation and the issues on which conflicting attitudes exist only within the individual's feelings. 5.

Further investigation of the concepts of Empathy and projection as employed in the present study could be made with a more per­ sonalized form of the instrument (using estimates of the atti­ tudes of my parent and my child, rather than parents ^in general and children in general)•

6.

The use of the results.of the present study as the basis for an educational program with parent groups might be investigated from the standpoint of effecting attitudinal changes on the part of parents.

7.

The investigation of the effect of different forms of presenta­ tion of the items upon the type of response obtained might be repeated with a larger sample in an effort to secure more definitive results.

8.

Repetition of the study with a larger and more representative sample of parents would serve to make possible more valid gen­ eralizations concerning Actual-Conflict and Empathy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF CITED REFERENCES Bell, Howard M. , Youth Tell Their Story; Washington, American Council on Education, 1938* Benedek, Therese, Insight and personality Adjustment: A Study of the Psychological Effects of War; New York, The Ronald Press Company, 1946. Burgess, E* W. (chairman). The Adolescent in the Family; a. Study of Personality Deve 1opinent in the Home Environment; (Subcommittee on the Function of Home Activities in the Education of the Child, White House Conference on Child Health and Protection), New York, D* Appleton-Century Company, Inc., 1934* Blanchard, Phyllis, 11Adolescent Experience in Relation to Person­ ality and Behavior,** in Hunt, J. McV. (Ed.), Personality and the Behavior Disorders, Volume II, New York, The Ronald Press Company, 1944, pp. 691-713. Elias, Gabriel, Construction of Test of Non-Homeyness and Related Variables; Unpublished Doctoral Thesis, Purdue University, February, 1949. Fisher, Sarah Carolyn, Relationships in Attitudes, Opinions, and Values Among Family Members; Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1948. Frank, Lawrence K., "The Adolescent and the Family," The FortyThird Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part I, Adolescence^ 240-254, Chicago, The Department of Education, TheUniversity of Chicago, 1944. Gage, N. L., "Scaling and Factorial Design in Opinion Poll Analysis, Purdue University Studies in Higher Education, LXI, 1947, pp. 1-87. Healy, William and Bronner, Augusta F. , New Light on Delinquency and Its Treatment; New Haven, Yale University Press, 1936. Kenney, John F., Mathematics of Statistics, Part Two; New York, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1939, p. 140. Partridge, E. De Alton, Social Psychology of Adolescence; New York, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1938! Peters, C. C. and Van Voorhis, W. R. , Statistical Procedures and Their Mathematica 1 Bases; New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. , 1940, pp. 160-167.

- 119 -

13.

Remmers, H. H.» "The Purdue Opinion Poll for Young People,” Scientific Monthly, Vol. 40, April, 1945, pp. 292-300.

14.

Remmers, H. H. , ”A Quantitative Index of Social-Psychological Empathy,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry , Vol. XX, Wo. 1, January, 1950.

15.

Remmers, H. H., Drucker, A. J. , and Racket t, C. G. , "Youth Looks at the Parent Problem,” The Purdue Opinion panel, Report No. 23, Mimeographed, Purdue University, Division of Educational Reference, November, 1949*

16.

Remmers, H. H. - and Shimberg, Benjamin, Examiner Manual for the SRA Youth Inventory, Form A, Chicago, Science Research Associates, Inc,, 1949.

17.

Remmers, H. H. and Weltman, Naomi, "Attitude Inter-Relationships of Youth, Their Parents, and Their T e a c h e r s Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 26, 1947, pp. 61-68.

18.

Ribble, Margaret A., "Infantile Experience in Relation to Person­ ality Development," in Hunt, J. McV. (Ed.), Personality and the Behavior Disorders, Volume II, New York, The Ronald Press Company, 1944, pp. 621-651.

19.

Shimberg, Benjamin, "The Development of a Needs and Problems Inventory for High School Youth," Purdue University Studies in Higher Education IXXII, 1950, pp. 1-78.

20.

Spencer, Douglas, The Fulcra of Conflict, A New Approach to Per­ sonality Measurement, Yonkers, World Book Company, 1939.

21. Stott, Leland H., "Adolescents1 Dislikes Regarding Parental Behavior, and Their Significance," Journal of Genetic Psychology, 57, 393-414, 1940. 22. Stott, Le land H. , "Home Punishment of Adolescents," Journal of Genetic Psychology, 57, 415-428, 1340. 23. Stott, Le land H. , "Parent-Adolescent Adjustment, Its Measurement and Significance,” Character and Personality, 10, 140-150, 1941. 24. Stott, Le land H. , "Some Family Life Patterns and Their Relation to Personality Development in Children," Journal of Experimenta1 Education, 8, 148-160, 1939. 25.

Symonds, Percival M. , The Dynamics of Parent-Child Relationships, New York, Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1949.

26. Zachry, Caroline B. , in collaboration with Lighty, Margaret, Emotion and Conduct in Adolescence, New York, Appleton-CenturyCrofts, Inc., 1940.

-

APPENDIX A

Manual o f Directions for Poll Ho. 23

Question Sheet, THE PURDUE OPINION PANEL, Number 23, Fom A

Percentage Tables on Each Item for the National Sample

120

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)UE OPINION PANEL lue University ayette, Indiana

121

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Your school number is

Manual of Directions for Poll No* 23 :

October, 1949

General Information The twenty-third PURDUE OPINION PANEL deals with relationships between high ool students and their parents as the students themselves see them, s poll should be given during the week of October 17, 1949, We suggest that the students record their answers first on the question sheet then on the special ballot card. Each student should keep his own question et so that he will be able to refer to it when the nation-wide results are cussed in the classroom. He will then be able to compare his own answers with se of other students. The ballot cards are to be sent as soon as possible to the above address at due University. They will be counted by machine and reports of opinions of stuits in your school will be sent to you* Please do not delay giving this poll. :sooner we get the results from your school, the sooner we can send you the ret. The analysis of nation-wide student opinion will be ready in November. It is very important that students mark the ballot cards properly. Only a ivy black mark made with the special pencil will conduct the electric current tessary to punch holes in these cards. The results for your school will not be iplete if the cards are not marked properly.

How to give the Poll Please read or paraphrase the following directions so that all students will terstand what they are to do. Introductory remarks to the pupils. TODAY WE ARE TO HAVE THE PURDUE OPINION PANEL. ON IT YOU WILL BE ASKED TO GIVE IB OPINIONS ABOUT SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS FACING ALL OF US. ABOUT 15,000 OTHER îH SCHOOL STUDENTS ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES MILL ALSO GIVE THEIR OPINIONS. IT I BE INTERESTING TO KNOW HOW hLL OF THEM, INCLUDING YOURSELVES, FEEL ABOUT THE iSTIONS. NOW I AM GOING TO PASS OUT THE MATERIALS FOR THE POLL. tT UNTIL I GIVE YOU MORE INFORMATION.

WHEN YOU RECEIVE THEM,

Pass out the poll materials. Give each pupil a question sheet, a ballot card, 1 a special pencil. Ask the pupils: IS THERE ANYONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE A SPECIAL PENCIL WITH A FAIRLY SHARP POINT? pupils with dull or broken pencil points should sharpen pencils.) IF YOUR Sell POINT SHOULD BREAK OR BECOME DULL, SHARPEN IT RIGHT AWAY.

BEFORE WE BEGIN TO ANSWER THE POLL QUESTIONS, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE BALLOT CARDS FROM OUR SCHOOL ARE PROPERLY IDENTIFIED. IN THE LOWER RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THE BALLOT CARD YOU WILL FIND A SPACE MARKED "SCHOOL NUMBER” . IN THIS SPACE WRITE THE NUMBERS _______ . THESE NUMBERS WILL IDENTIFY OUR SCHOOL IF THE CARDS SHOULD HAPPEN TO GET MIXED WITH THOSE FROM SOME OTHER SCHOOL*

3 * Explain how they are to mark the ballots * IN ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS ON THIS POLL IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU MAKE HE BLACK MARKS THAT GO FROM ONE END OF THE BRACKET TO THE OTHER. I WILL SHOW YOU ON THE BLACKBOARD HOW TO MAKE A GOOD MARK. Demonstrate on the blackboard that the m must be heavy and that it must go from one end of the bracket to the other. like this not this C '" ome— Har—DNA a lly tim es dly ever

.CHILDREN

Total

40%

39

20

1

60

33

5

2

49

46

2

3

Boys G irls

41% 39%

39 39

19 21

1 1

52 67

39 27

6 3

3 3

45 52

49

44

3 2

3 2

9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade

49% 36% 33% 35%

37 43 44 33

12 19 23 30

2 2 0 2

57 60 60 65

38 35 33 20

3 5 2 7

2 0 5 8

51 47 50 45

48 47 50 38

0 2 0 10

1 4 0 7

Your Answer U su- Some— Har­ DNA a lly tim es d ly ev er

Answer fo r C hildren Usu­ Some- Har- DNA a lly tim es d ly ever

PARENTS

Total

77%

18

4

1

33

45

19

3

Mothers o f Boys of G ir ls Total

83% 82% 83%

11 15 13

6 1 3

0 2 1

35 37 36

38 46 43

20 16 18

7 1 3

Fathers of Boys o f G ir ls T otal

72% 67% 69%

22 26

4 6 5

2 1 1

30 28 29

51 41 46

14 27 21

5 4 4

25

- 192 -

40s

Should high school students be allowed to smoke If they want to? Your Answer Usu- Some— He- DNA ally times ver

Answer for Mothers Usu- Some— Ne— DNA ally times ver

Answer for gathers Usu- Some— Ne- DNA ally times ver

cHmram Total

50#

31

15

4

22

42

34

2

24

41

34

1

Boys Girls

50# 49#

30 31

17 14

3 6

28 17

33 50

36 30

3 3

27 22

34 47

37 30

2 1

9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade

34# 53# 46# 75#

37 23 35 22

25 17 13 3

4 7 6 0

23 20 23 22

35 40 46 50

37 40 27 28

5 0 4 0

23 23 27 20

43 34 40 48

32 43 33 25

2 0 0 7

Your Answer Usu— Some- No- m k ally times ver

Answer for Children Usu­ Some­ Ne— DNA ally times ver

BABgBTS Total

15%

33

51

1

36

50

10

4

Mothers of Boys of Girls Total

13# 16# 14#

36 35 36

51 49 50

0 0 1

32 38 35

50 47 49

12 13 12

6 2 4

gathers of Boys of Girls Total

17% 16# 16#

30 32 31

52 49 52

1 3 1

35 40 38

52 49 51

9 8 8

4 3 3

Your Answer Usu­ Some- Har- DNA ally times dly ever

Answer for Mothers Usu­ Some­ Har- DNA ally times dly ever

i

Do parents feel that the opinions of high school

to

41.

I

- 193 -

are worthwhile?

Answer for Fathers Usu- Some— Har- Ï>NA ally times dly ever

CHILDREN Total

35%

48

16

1

39

53

8

0

42

49

7

2

Boys Girls

32% 36%

49 47

19 14

0 3

38 39

51 54

11 6

0 1

37 45

51 46

8 8

4 1

9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade

40% 32% 33% 30%

46 49 52 43

11 19 13 27

3 0 8 0

41 49 35 28

58 40 58 50

1 11 2 20

0 0 5 2

55 34 37 33

40 51 56 50

3 15 4 10

2 0 3 7

Your Answer Usu- Some— Har- DNA ally times dly ever

Answer for Children Usu­ Some- Har- DNA ally times dly ever

BARENTS Total

68%

29

2

1

32

43

22

3

Mothers 6f Boys of Girls Total

78% 77% 78%

20 23 21

2 0 1

0 0 0

34 38 36

41 43 43

18 19 18

7 0 3

Bathers of Boys of Girls Total

58% 57% 58%

36 39 38

4 2 3

8 2 1

30 27 29

40 42 42

24 28 26

6 3 3

- 194 -

APPENDIX C

Poll No. 23 Manual of Directions for Ferndale, Michigan

Letter to Parents

Question Sheet for Parents

- 195 PURDUE OPINION PANEL Purdue University Lafayette, Indiana Poll No. 23 Eanual of Directions for Ferndale, Michigan, October 1949 In order to determine the opinions of the parents of high school students with agard to the questions on the current poll, to investigate the relationship between 3e opinions of students and parents on these same questions, and to study the inluence of different methods of presentation of the questions, the poll should be Ministered as outlined below. How to Give the Poll Please read or paraphrase the following directions so that all students will nderstand what they are to do. • Introductory remarks to the pupils. TODAY WE ARE TO HAVE THE PURDUE OPINION PANEL. ON IT YOU WILL BE ASKED TO GIVE OUR OPINIONS ABOUT SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS FACING ALL OF US. ABOUT 15,000 OTHER IGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES WILL ALSO GIVE THEIR OPINIONS. IT ILL BE INTERESTING TO KNOW HOW ALL OF THEM, INCLUDING YOURSELVES, FEEL ABOUT THE (ESTIONS. NOW I AM GOING TO PASS OUT THE MATERIALS FOR THE POLL. AIT UNTIL I GIVE YOU MORE INFORMATION.

WHEN YOU RECEIVE THEM,

* Pass out the poll materials. Give each pupil a manila envelope and a special encil. The manila envelope contains the Question Sheet, the Ballot Card and two tapled white envelopes. IS THERE ANYONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE A SPECIAL PENCIL WITH A FAIRLY SHARP POINT? All pupils with dull or broken pencil points should sharpen pencils.) IF YOUR :EIL POINT SHOULD BREAK OR BECOME DULL, SHARPEN IT RIGHT AWAY. NOW OPEN THE LARGE ENVELOPE AND TAKE OUT THE QUESTION SHEET AND THE BALLOT CARD. KILL EXPLAIN WHAT YOU ARE TO DO WITH THE WHITE ENVELOPES LATER. '« Explain how they are to mark the ballots. IN ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS ON THIS POLLIT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOUMAKE SAv'Y BLACK MARKS THAT GO FROM ONEEND OF THE BRACKET TO THE OTHER. I WILL SHOW WON THEBLACKBOARD HOW TO MAKE A GOODMARK.Demonstrate on the blackboard that k mark must be heavyand that itmust gofrom one end of the bracket to the other. like this

not this

e---- »-------------------------------------c--0

ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO MARK THE BALLOT CARD? (Pause) IF YOU WANT 0ERASE A MARK, BE SURE TO ERASE IT COMPLETELY WITHOUT DAMAGING THE CARD. " Directions for the Poll. READ THE DIRECTIONS AT THE TOP OF THE QUESTION SHEET WHILE I READ THEM ALOUD. Ikad the directions, stressing the five steps to be followed.)

NOW LOOK AT THE FIRST QUESTION, 11ARE YOU A BOY OR A GIRL?” IF YOU ARE A BOY DRAW A HEAVY BLACK LINE THROUGH THE SPACE HARKED 1A ON THE BALLOT CARD. (Pause) IF YOU ARE A GIRL DRAW A HEAVY BLACK LINE THROUGH THE SPACE MARKED IB ON THE BALL CARD. (Pause) ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS? (Answer all questions except those dealing with the content of the poll. If they do not know the population, please give them this information. ) NOW GO AHEAD AND ANSWER THE REST OF THE QUESTIONS. WHEN YOU FINISH THE FIRST PAGE, GO RIGHT AHEAD TO THE SECOND. REMEMBER, THIS IS NOT A TEST. IT WILL NOT AFFECT YOUR GRADES. NOBODY WILL KNOW HOW ANY OF YOU ANSWER THE QUESTIONS, SO GIVE YOUR HONEST OPINIONS. (Wait until all students have finished the poll. Then say:) NOW PUT YOUR QUESTION SHEETS ASIDE FOR A MOMENT. GO BACK OVER YOUR CARDAM) BLACKEN EACH MARK YOU HAVE MADE. BE SURE THAT THE PENCIL MARK GOES FROM ONE END OF THE BRACKET TO THE OTHER. 5.‘ Collect the ballot cards and pencils. Infora the students that they are to keep the question sheets so that they will be able to refer to them when the natic wide results are discussed in the classroom* They will then be able to compare their own answers with those of other students*

6.

After the ballots are collected the students are to betold the following: THE STAPLED WHITE ENVELOPES CONTAIN THE SAME POLL THATYOU HAVE TAKEN. THES POLLS ARE FOR YOUR PARENTS TO FILL OUT. THE ENVELOPES ALSO INCLUDE LETTERS TO YOt PARENTS ABOUT THE POLL. YOU ARE TO BRING THE SEALED ENVELOPES CONTAINING YOUR PARENTS' COMPLETED POL TO SCHOOL WITH YOU TOMORROW. (These are to be returned to you in accordance with the instructions you give* A box might be provided for this purpose.) IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT DISCUSS THE ITEMS IN THE POLL WITH YOUR PARENTS UNTIL AFTER THEY HAVE SEALED THEIR COMPLETED POLL I N T O E ENVELOPES. NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW TO WHOM THE BALLOTS IN THE ENVELOPES BELONG. ENVELOPES WILL BE OPENED ONLY AT PURDUE UNIVERSITY.

THE

How and what materials to return The ballot cards and the sealed envelopes containing the parents1 poll shoul be returned. Before returning the cards, check through them to make sure that al pupils have marked their cards according to your instructions. The cards should never have staples. paper clips or tight rubber bands used on than, since any dan to them will cause them to jam in the machines. Stack the cards carefully and ps them securely. All possible precautions should be taken to prevent the cards frc being damaged. Wrap the cards in heavy cardboard or ship them in a small box.

Since we wish to send you your report as soon as possible, please do not del in returning these materials. ..... . .

- 196 -

PURDU3 OPINION PAMJL Purdue University Division of Educational Reference Lafayette, Indiana October 17, 1949

Dear Parent: All of us who are parents are interested in, and sometimes seriously concerned with, the kind of relationships that arise between ourselves and our children* We are faced with a great many questions as parents, especially when our children come of high school age, and sometimes we like to know what other parents think about these problems* The PURDUE OPINION PANEL is trying to find out the answers to some of these questions, as both parents and children see them and we invite you, as a parent, to take part in this study* Your part will be to fill out the enclosed poll and to send it back to school with your child tomorrow* Your child filled out a copy of the same poll in his classroom today* We would like to find out how mother, father and child feel about these questions* It is very important that you do not discuss the items with your family until after you have filled out the entire poll, and sealed it in the envelope. In case more than one of your children have brought envelopes home, mark only one poll. You may throw away the other envelope(s), but please first write the numbers you find on them on the envelope you use and return* The numbers are code numbers which make it possible for us to keep the polls from each family together without our knowing which family it is. Few people want their private opinions and personal affairs made public. NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW TO WHOM THE SEALED ENVELOPES BELONG. These envelopes will be opened only at Purdue University. We greatly appreciate your working with us. Sincerely yours.

TTTV H. Remmer

Questions for Parents

- 197 -

THE PÜRDÜ3 OPINION PANEL October, 1949 The following questions are asked in an effort to find out what parents think ire the right kind of relationships between themselves and their children in high school• Do not sign your name on this sheet as we wish only to know how parents as Igroup feel about these problems* No one will know how you as an individual an­ swered the questions. It is important that you answer all questions* Directions: After each question are a number of answers from which you are to choose one* Draw a line under the answer that most nearly shows what you think the answer to the question should be,

GENERAL INFOHI’IATTON 1,Are you a father or a mother? -Father -Mother 2,Which religion do you prefer? -Protestant -Some other -Catholic -None -Jewish How old are you? -39 years or younger •40 years or older

4, Where do you live? -In the country or a town under 2500 population, -In a town or city of between 2500 and 25,000 population -In a city of over 25,000 population 5, How far did you go in school? -Did not finish 8th grade -Finished 8th grade -Some high school, did not finish -Finished high school -Some college, did not finish -Finished college

YOUR OPINIONS AND HOW YOU THINK CHILDREN WOULD ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS Each of these questions has two places for you to answer it* )nsider each answer separately, according to these directions:

You should

A*

Your answer: Choose the answer that most nearly shows how you feel about the question*

B,

How would children answer this? Here you answer the same question as you think high school children, in general, would answer it. You might have in mind your own youngsters, their friends, or other high school students. Your own opinion on the question is not asked for here, but how you think most high school children would feel about it*

Should parents decide what kind of occupation their children should prepare for?

7. When high school students are out for an evening, should their parents know just where they are?

Your answer? -Always -Often -Only sometimes How would children answer this? -Always -Often -Only sometimes

Your answer? -Usually -Sometimes -Seldom How would children answer this? -Usually -Sometimes -Seldom - 1 -

8. Should young people be encouraged to 15. Do parents worry too much about the possibility of teen-agers "going ha solve their ovm problems as best they Your answer? can, without help from their parents? -Often Your answer? -Sometimes -Often —No -Sometimes How would children answer this? -Seldom How would children answer this? Often -Sometimes -Often -No -Sometimes -Seldom 14, Do parents ever treat high school students as if they were much young 9. Should parents choose the kind of than they really are? clothes their children wear? Your answer? Your answer? -Usually -Usually -Sometimes -Sometimes -Very seldom -Hardly ever How would children answer this? How would children answer this? -Usually -Usually -Sometimes -Sometimes -Very seldom -Hardly ever 10. Is it all right for young people to pet or "neck" when they are out on dates? Your answer? -Usually -Sometimes -Never How would chiIdren answer this? -Usually -Sometimes -Never

15. Do parents understand the kind of problems modern youth have? Your answer? -Usually -Sometimes -Hardly ever How would children answer this? -Usually -Sometimes -Hardly ever

11. Do young people look to their parents to teach them what is right and wronj Your answer? -Always -Sometimes -Hardly ever How would children answer this? -Always -Sometimes -Hardly ever

16* Should parents be expected to give reasons why, when they ask their s or daughter to do something? Your answer? -Usually -Sometimes -Never How would children answer this? -Usually -Sometimes -Never

12. Do young people feel that they would rather not have any advice or guidance from their parents? Your answer? -Often -Sometimes -Hardly ever How would children answer this? -Often -Sometimes -Hardly ever

17* Should the members of the family é together and talk over each others problems? Your answer? -Often -Sometimes -Never How would children answer this? -Often -Sometimes -Never —2—

- 193 23, Do parents set a good example for what they think young people ought to do? Your answer? -Usually -Sometimes -Hardly ever How would children answer this? -Usually —Sometimes -Hardly ever 19, Should young people be mado to stay at home for a certain numbsr of nights as24# Do parents feel that high grades are punishment for disobeying orders? the most important thing a student Your answer? can got out of school? -Often Your answer? -Sometimes -Usually -Seldom —Sometimes How would children answer this? -Hardly ever -Often How would children answer this? -Usually -Sometimes -Seldom -Sometimes -Hardly ever #$ As their children grow older, do 25, Should parents try to protect young parents tend to love them less? people from making mistakes they Your answer? themselves made in their youth? -Usually Your answer? -Sometimes -Always -Never — -Sometimes How would children answer this? -Usually -Never How would children answer this? -Sometimes -Always -Never -Sometimes -Never 21, Should parents use whipping or slap, ing as punishment for disobeying 26, Are •parents strict enough in the way orders? they handle their children of high Your answer? school age? -Often Your answer? —Sometimes -Too strict —Never -About right How would children answer this? -Too easy -Often How would children answer this? -Sometimes —Too strict —Never -About right -Too easy 2, Do parents really trust their children as much as they could? 27, Should young people be allowed to Your answer? drive tho family car on dates when -Usually they are old enough to get a driver1s -Sometimes license? -Seldom Your answer? How would children answer this? -Usually -Usually — Sometimes -Sometimes -Never —Seldom How would children answer this? -Usually -Sometimes —Nover —3—

18$ Should what happens on dates be dis— cussed afterwards with parents? Your answer? —Always — Sometimes -Never How would children answer this? -Always — Sometimes -Never

28# Do parents allow their children to,. 35. Should parents regard it as their d to prevent young people from choosi have the right amount of spending the wrong kind of friends? money? Your answer? Your answer? -Usually -Too much -Sometimes -Enough -Hardly ewer -Too little Bow would children answer thj How would children answer this? -Usually -Too much -Sometimes -Enough -Hardly ever -Too little 29. Should parents scold or “lecture” , 34. Is it all right for young people tc "go steady" if they aren't planning their children when they do something get married soon? wrong? Your answer? Your answer? -Usually -Often -Sometimes -Sometimes -Never -Rarely How would children answer thj How would children answer this? -Usually -Often — -Sometimes -Sometimes -Never -Rarely 30. Do parents "play favorites" in their 35. Are parents really interested in wJ a high school student thinks is treatment of different children in the important? family? Your answer? Your answer? -Usually -Often -Sometimes -Sometimes -Hardly ever -Hardly ever How would children answer th: How would children answer this? -Usually -Often . -Sometimes -Sometimes -Hardly ever -Hardly ever 31. Should parents talk to their children 36. Should high school students be alL about physical relationships between to smoke if they want to? Your answer? the sexes? Your answer? -Usually -Sometimes —Yes -Sometimes -Never How would chiIdren answer th —No How would children answer this? -Usually -Sometimes -Yes —Sometimes -Never —No 37. Do parents feel that the opinions 32. Do parents talk too much about the* ; high school students are worth­ things they think their children ought while? : to do? Your answer? Your answer? -Usually -Often -Sometimes -Sometimes -Hardly ever -Seldom How would children answer tl How would children answer this? -Usually -Often -Sometimes -Sometimes -Hardly ever -Seldom -4-

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