A correlation of the possession of four personality traits in some nursery school children and their parents

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Polytechnic Institute


This study sought to determine any possible relationships between the extent of development of each of four parental personality traits and the extent of development of the same trait in the parent's child., as well as possible interactions among the traits in the parent-child identification. In addition the investigation sought to determine whether the extent of development were related to (a) a same-sex parent-child identification, (b) an opposite-sex parent-child identification, (c) a mother-child identification, or (d) a father-child identification. The four traits were: achievement, aggression, autonomy, and nurturance.

Subjects consisted of fifteen children, enrolled in the University Nursery School at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and their parents. The extent of parental development of the four traits was measured by the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule. The extent of the development of children's traits was measured by (a) Virginia Polytechnic Institute students of child development who observed randomized groups composed of five children per group and ranked the fifteen children according to their composite impressions of each child's possession of each of the four traits.

Results of rho computations indicated:

(a) Opposite-sex children of aggressive parents tended to be non-aggressive.

(b) Children of highly nurturant parents tended to be non-nurturant.

(c) Children of highly autonomous fathers tended to lack the achievement motive.

(d) Children of achieving parents of the same sex tended to possess the achievement motive.