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Parental beliefs about child psychopathology: The relation with child gender and symptomatology

Rebecca M Stowe, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract

Keenan and Shaw (1997) suggested that gender differences in child and adolescent psychopathology might be related to the socializing of internalizing behaviors in girls. Some studies have suggested that parents respond differentially to some child behaviors depending on the sex of the child. Additionally, other studies support the notion that parents consider male-stereotypic behaviors more problematic in girls. However, past studies have not directly examined parental beliefs about symptoms in girls versus boys or examined how these beliefs relate to actual child symptoms in preschool children. The present study extends existing research by examining whether parents have different beliefs about internalizing and externalizing symptomatology depending on the sex of the child in which the symptom occurs and if these parental beliefs are related to parent and teacher report of child symptoms. The present study found gender differences in parental concern about hypothetical symptoms in girls versus boys in a sample of higher income, European American parents, but found no significant gender differences in a sample of lower income parents from racial and ethnic minority groups. The present study did not obtain significant findings with regard to the relation of these beliefs with parent and teacher report of child symptoms. The importance of conducting such research with diverse participants is discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Rebecca M Stowe, "Parental beliefs about child psychopathology: The relation with child gender and symptomatology" (January 1, 1999). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. Paper AAI9950214.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9950214

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