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Reasons Children Behave the Way They Do: Assessment of Maternal Attributions

Hodges, Cynthia Anne
The current investigation looked at the attributional responses of 51 mothers of children ages 24-48 months. Attributions were elicited with orally presented vignettes and measured with two measurement formats: Likert rating scales and coded open ended responses. The data yielded from the two measurement formats were then compared. As an initial step in the assessment of socially desirable responding within maternal attribution research, social desirability was explored. The current study found that causal attributional data measured by Likert rating scales and coded open-ended responses yielded similar results, suggesting that the two formats are comparable. Furthermore, the attributions that mothers make for their female children versus their male children were not significantly different. In the measurement of response biases, the current investigation found that social desirability has a very small effect on maternal attributional ratings.