Mothers' criteria of child competence across socioeconomic status

Open Access
Baranov, Hannah
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Pamela Cole, Thesis Supervisor
  • Kenneth Levy, Honors Advisor
  • Child competence
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Maternal education
  • Income
All parents hope their children will become productive members of their communities, yet there are cultural variations in parenting practices. These variations may reflect different parental conceptions of what it takes to be competent in a given social group. Socioeconomic status (SES) also affects parenting. SES variations in parenting may also reflect culturally specific expectations of competence. It is thought that higher SES parents encourage child behaviors that prepare a child to be a leader, whereas lower SES parents encourage more compliant behaviors. We investigated SES variations in maternal conceptions of child competence. Mothers’ descriptions of competent children were classified into different aspects of competence. Logistical binary regressions provided partial support for relations between two aspects of SES (income & maternal education) & competence sub-domains.