Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Jay A. Schvaneveldt


Jay A. Schvaneveldt


Gordon Keller


Don Carter


The purpose of this study was to investigate child rearing in a Palestinian refugee camp and the values affecting these patterns . The areas investigated were: independence, dependency, aggression, methods of control, sex role training, mother-child interaction, maternal role, maternal expectations of the child in the present time and the future, and the role of the father as perceived by the mother.

An interview was undertaken in October, 1974 at the Al Hussein refugee camp in Amman, Jordan with forty Palestinian in-camp refugee mothers. Since the review of literature did not contain specific references in the psychology, or sociology of either the personality development, or child rearing patterns of the Palestinian refugee, the findings of the study were relevant. Overall, the refugee mothers were imitating the traditional culture in their child-rearing values and methods and expected their children to do the same. In spite of their rootlessness, they did not abandon their rural heritage.

Sex role differentiation was the most outstanding finding of the study. It prevailed in all areas investigated. The differences in sex role training at the age of three-and-one-half to four-and-one-half years were already established.

The findings also indicated that the mothers were the main power in childrearing, and that they all used methods of control and punishment rather than training as methods for achieving their goals.

Another finding points to the street culture as a source of values for the growing male child.

It is believed that the specific findings de scribing the childrearing practices have some important implications for the description of present, and the projection of future. personality and values of the Palestinian in-camp residents. As a result, intrapersonal relationships of Palestinian families and their internal power structure could be described. Some of these findings and recommendations are also of value for further study and research of the Palestinian and Arab culture throughout the Arab World.