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Parents' representations of their children: an exploratory study using the Osgood Semantic Differential Scales

, : Parents' representations of their children: an exploratory study using the Osgood Semantic Differential Scales. Perceptual and Motor Skills 105(1): 39-46

The results of an exploratory national study carried out in Italy using Osgood's Semantic Differential Scales (Osgood, Suci, & Tannenbaum, 1957) with parents of 100 normal 6- to 11-yr.-old children in mainstream classrooms are reported. The aim was to devise a simple tool to be used to explore parents' perceptions of their children in this age group. Parents were asked to rate "my child" using some of Osgood's Semantic Differential Scales especially adapted for this study. Participants were 97 fathers and 100 mothers. Fathers were 32 to 57 years of age (M = 43.2, SD = 5.4), mothers were 29 to 49 years of age (M = 39.7, SD =4.4). In factor analysis four factors were identified: Activity, Evaluation, Emotions evoked by the child, Personality/Physical contact. Average factor scores were significantly different. There were no significant differences between fathers and mothers on the four factor scores. Children were more positively evaluated the younger they were.


PMID: 17918547

DOI: 10.2466/pms.105.1.39-46

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