The relationship of maternal sex-role to predictions of self-concept in children

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Carolyn S. Garwood - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of maternal sex-role to mothers' perceptions of their children's self-concepts. It was hypothesized that androgynous mothers would predict their children's self-concepts more accurately than nonandrogynous mothers. It was also proposed that children of androgynous mothers would have higher self-concepts than children of nonandrogynous mothers.Subjects were 73 children (38 boys and 35 girls) and their 73 mothers, respectively. Using the median-split procedure with scores from the Bem Sex-Role Inventory, mothers were divided into two groups, androgynous (n = 34) and nonandrogynous (n = 39). Children and mothers were both administered the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale, and mothers were instructed to answer the way they thought their children would answer. Percentage agreement scores on the Piers-Harris were compared between the two groups of mothers. T-test procedures for planned comparisons were utilized.Results indicated that there was no significant difference between androgynous and nonandrogynous mothers' accuracy in predicting their children's self-concepts except on the Popularity subscale. Androgynous mothers were significantly better at predicting their children's Popularity subscale scores than nonandrogynous mothers. Nonandrogynous mothers were significantly better at predicting their daughters' Behavior subscale scores than those of their sons.Significant differences were found between sons' and daughters' self-concepts on the Behavior and Sex-Concept subscale for children of nonandrogynous mothers, and on the Physical Appearance and Attributes, Anxiety, and Sex-Concept subscales for children of androgynous mothers. Alternate explanations for these findings were proposed.Post hoc analyses indicated that unemployed mothers predicted their children's Behavior subscale scores significantly better than mothers who worked full-time or part-time. In addition, children whose mothers worked part-time had significantly higher scores on the Happiness and Satisfaction subscale than children whose mothers worked full-time.


Psychology, Clinical

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text