The Relation of Parent and Child Gender to Parental Tolerance of Child Disruptive Behaviors Anna W. Right, Justin Parent, Rex Forehand, Mark C. Edwards, Nicola A Conners-Burrow, Nicholas Long; Retrieved from Journal of Child and Family Studies, August 2013 Vol. 22 Issue 6 p.779-785
In this study, researchers are examining disruptive behaviors in young children. They found, or believe that "the role parental tolerance may have on a parent's perceptions of their child's disruptive behaviors". They define parental tolerance as "the degree to when a parent tends to be annoyed by his or her child's disruptive behavior". Furthermore, the study begins to comprise their hypothesis and theorize that parental tolerance can either have a positive or negative impact on the child's disruptive behavior. They found from other studies that if the parent has a high tolerance for their child's disruptive behavior, their child's intensity score (meaning how intense their child's disruptive behavior is--found from the Eyeberg Child Behavior Inventory)--is higher. If the parent has low tolerance for the disruptive behavior, the child tends to have a lower intensity score. The second part of the researchers' hypothesis is that they believed that parental tolerance may be influenced by the variables parent and child gender. They claimed that typically fathers are not as engaged or involved in their child's development as the mother is, so it would make sense for the father to have less parental tolerance. They believed that for mothers, "the higher level of active parenting by mothers may lead to more knowledge of expected and acceptable behaviors for their child, and, therefore, more tolerance of their children's disruptive behaviors that are within the normal range for young children." Thus, they predicted that because mothers are more tolerant of their children's disruptive behavior, the child's intensity of their disruptive behavior is higher. They also hypothesize that there is a difference in disruptive behavior between boys and girls, considering boys tend to demonstrate more disruptive behaviors than girls do. They conclude that since there is such a difference in disruptive behavior between boys and girls, that there may be a difference in parental tolerance with both genders. Back to fathers, the researchers will argue that typically fathers engage, with their sons more in physical play and "interact preferentially" with their sons vs. their daughters. Furthermore, they assert the idea that since fathers have this relationship with their sons that they tend to be more tolerant of their sons' disruptive behavior. Thus, the purpose of the study is to examine the effects of parent and child gender on parental tolerance of child disruptive behaviors. They hypothesized that fathers will be less tolerant of their child's disruptive behavior more so than their mothers.
The setting in which the experiment would take place would be at a parenting class. The participants in the study came from two separate areas: Burlington, Vermont, and Little Rock, Arkansas. The sample was comprised of 160 parents (approximately 79.3% mothers and 20.7% fathers). The mean age was 34.68 years old. The mean age of the children was approximately 4.37 years old, and about 47% of the children that participated were girls. The education level of the parents included less than high school (5.4%), high school (15.6%), and high school plus vocational training or at least some college (79%). The races of the parents included Caucasian (75%), African American (18%), Hispanic (3%), and other (4%). Sixty six percent of the parents were married. In order to recruit the participants included the use of flyers, mailings, newspaper advertisements, announcements of local Head Start parent meetings, and referral by Head Start Staff. After being invited to participate, all of the