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Dimensions of the Family Environment as Perceived by Children: A Multidimensional Scaling Analysis

Paul R. Amato
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 52, No. 3 (Aug., 1990), pp. 613-620
DOI: 10.2307/352928
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352928
Page Count: 8
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Dimensions of the Family Environment as Perceived by Children: A Multidimensional Scaling Analysis
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Abstract

Researchers and theorists have referred to two broad dimensions of parent-child relations: support and control. The present study was carried out to see if children themselves perceive and respond to their family environments in these terms. Randomly selected primary school boys (n = 45), primary school girls (n = 54), adolescent boys (n = 46), and adolescent girls (n = 56) completed 12 measures of family processes. Correlation matrices for each group were subjected to a multidimensional scaling analysis involving an individual-differences model. The resulting two-dimensional configuration was consistent with the assumption of parental support and control dimensions. The ratings of expert judges were used to verify this interpretation. Primary school children weighted the support dimension more highly than the control dimension, whereas adolescents weighted the control dimension more highly than the support dimension.

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