Comparison of Attitudes of Mothers and Fathers Toward Nursery School Education

Pamela Meals


Attitudes of middle class mothers and fathers toward nursery school education were measured and compared. The subjects were parents of children who attended the Utah State University nursery school. A scale was developed to test parental attitudes. Attitudes toward nursery school education were definitely favorable. Comparison of attitudes expressed by mothers with those expressed by fathers revealed significant differences between the two groups, when the total number of responses of all scale items were considered together.

The total scale included 48 items comprising three subscales , which tested the following parental attitudes toward nursery school education: attitudes concerning a child's independence or dependence as it relates to nursery school attendance , attitudes pertaining to the value that the nursery school has for a child, and attitudes toward the care and guidance of a child while at nursery school. Comparisons of attitudes of mothers and fathers in each of these three areas disclosed that there was no significant difference between the two groups in attitudes expressed. Mean scores of mothers and fathers were 77.4 and 76.2, respectively. The scale used to measure attitudes was found to discriminate significantly between the high and low scoring subjects. However, an item analysis of the scale revealed few individual items which could discriminate significantly between the high and low scoring subjects.