Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Jay D. Schvaneveldt


Jay D. Schvaneveldt


Loa Thomson


Ann Rice


Marie Krueger


Parental preference of girls and boys was studied in this research. Situations of recreation, personal and moral needs, places and things, and social events constituted the range of choices in the children's selection for one parent or the other as a companion for the activity.

Ninety children (30 preschool, 30 third graders, and 30 sixth graders) we r e tested individually by an interview schedule. The Parent-Affinity Perception Scale developed for this research contained 30 items. Children were asked to choose "Mother" or "Father" as a response for each item.

The findings indicated a significant difference in preference for "Mother" rather than "Father," with girls consistently choosing the mother. Third-grade boys selected the mother more often than the father ; however, preschool and sixth-grade boys preferred the father for more of the items. In comparison of the three age groups, mother was perceived as the preferred parent in all except the preschool group.

The Parent-Affinity Perception Scale scores of the group's 90 subjects were ranked in the high and low quartiles in order to analyze which items were discriminating children's perceptions for parental preference. Analyses by chi square found 26 of the 30 items indicated a significant difference in parental preference at or beyond the . 05 level of confidence.