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Title:The Effects of Parental Attitudes and Classroom Climate on Children's Self-Concept of Mathematics Ability
Author(s):Thomas, Nancy Glorian
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Mathematics
Psychology, Developmental
Abstract:The impact of parental attitudes and classroom climate on children's self-concept of their mathematics ability was compared in a sample of 30 fourth- and fifth-grade mathematics classes. To measure climate, classrooms were ordered on the basis of teacher questionnaire data from less to more differentiated (called uni- and multidimensional) on seven variables: task organization, social organization, evaluation practice, grouping practice, extra-curricular organization, achievement bias, and size-of-group focus. Parental attitude variables included parents' perceptions of children's mathematics ability, math difficulty for their child and effort needed for their child to do well in math. Children's self-concept was measured with both the Parsons ability self-concept measure and an adaptation of the Harter perceived cognitive competency subscale.
The data provided a test of the Parsons path model of parental influences, with classroom climate an added predictor, and of the Rosenholzes and Simpson studies of classroom structure influences on the dispersion of ability concepts within a classroom, with parental attitudes an added predictor. Regression analyses at the level of the individual largely replicated the path model, although no sex differences were found, and classroom climate was not significantly related to self-concept. Children's grades emerged as an important predictor of parental attitudes about their child's ability, and new links between variables, relating the model to Dweck's formulation of children's theories of intelligence, are proposed. Analysis at the level of the classroom only partially supported earlier findings, with only two of the seven climate variables, social and extra-curricular organization, relating to classroom dispersion of ability concepts, and these only with the Harter measure, not the Parsons. Parental attitudes did not relate to classroom self-concept distribution. Developmental, methodological and sociological implications are discussed.
Issue Date:1986
Description:135 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8610986
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1986

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