Parenthood concepts of adults reared without parents
The present study investigated the parental attitudes expressed by adults who were reared in an institutional setting and adults who were reared in a nuclear family setting. The Parental Attitude Research Instrument, developed by Schaefer and Bell (1958), was used to elicit parental attitudes of the adults regarding child-rearing practices.
The sample of the study consisted of fifty-four Caucasian adults, thirty-four males and twenty females. Of the total sample, twenty-seven adults, seventeen males and ten females, were reared in an institutional setting and twenty-seven adults, seventeen males and ten females were reared in a nuclear family setting. Subjects from the nuclear family setting were matched according to sex, age and level of educational attainment to subjects from the institutional setting.
The most important finding of the study was that the parental attitudes expressed by adults reared in the instructional setting did not differ significantly from the parental attitudes expressed by the adults reared in the nuclear family setting.
Females were more likely than males to view their children as equals and to express preference for an atmosphere where children would feel free to express their opinions concerning policies that governed their behavior. Males were more likely than females to exhibit attitudes favorable to inhibition of the sexual curiosity expressed by their children and to the acceleration of their children's development. There was little difference in the mean scores between males and females on the eleven remaining subscales.