We investigated how parents’ attributions of blame/responsibility/internal locus for negative events happening to themselves and to their children were related to children’s attributions about similar events in their own lives. In a sample of 145 families (including mother, father, and child aged 9–12 years; 73 boys), we tested for unique associations between children’s attributions of blame/responsibility/ internal locus (child self-attributions) with (a) parents’ self-attributions blame/ responsibility/internal locus (parent self-attributions) and (b) parents’ child attributions of blame/responsibility/internal locus attributions (parents’ child attributions). We also examined whether these associations differed across child and parent gender. Using linear regression models, we found children’s self-attributions were uniquely negatively related to parents’ self-attributions and uniquely positively related to parents’ child attributions. There was no evidence these associations differed across same-gender versus opposite-gender parent–child dyads, although when mother and father attributions were entered in the same model, only fathers’ child attributions were significantly associated with child self-attributions. Results are suggestive of the importance of parental influence in the formation of children’s explanations for their social experiences.
Miller, Natalie V. and Johnston, Charlotte
"Associations Between Parent and Child Attributions for Negative Events,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 65:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol65/iss2/3