Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education

Department name when degree awarded

Home Economics and Consumer Education

Committee Chair(s)

Marie Krueger


Marie Krueger


The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between perceived child rearing practices and the moral character or pro-social behavior of students in their late teens and early twenties.

A questionnaire was administered to forty-eight students to test their moral character which was the dependent variable on the following traits: ambitious, broadminded, capable, cheerful, clean, courageous, forgiving, helpful, honest, imaginative, independent, intellectual, logical, loving, obedient, polite, responsible and self-controlled. The child rearing practices used by the mothers and fathers were also tested as the independent predictor variables according to the following terms: autonomy, coercion, companionship, guilt, inconsistency, love withdrawal, over protection, physical affection, positive reasoning, and support.

A similar questionnaire was also sent to the parents of these students asking the mother and father to rate their student's moral character and also how they feel they raised their son or daughter.

The results indicate fathers influence their daughter's moral character as much as do mothers. However, using the above moral character variables and child rearing practices variables, fathers only slightly influence their sons and mothers have no significant influence over their sons.

Parental child rearing techniques influencing the females the most are: low amounts of physical affection and autonomy from both parents, low amounts of support from the mother, and low amounts of guilt from the father. Also, high amounts of companionship and inconsistency from both parents are strong influences on moral character high ratings.

Those child rearing techniques promoting high moral character in males are low amounts of over protection and high amounts of love withdrawal from fathers.

It also appears the way children perceive their parents rearing them is in most cases not the way parents feel they raised their children. Also, the way children view their own character traits is not the same way the parents view it in most cases.