THE EFFECT OF FATHER ABSENCE ON INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT OF BOYS
SASLOW, HARRY S.
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This study examined the intellectual development of father present (FP) and father absent (FA) boys. It was posited that there would be an overall difference between the two groups and a difference in cognitive style. The theoretical formulations of this study were based on the work of Piaget (1952, 1954), Mahler, Pine and Bergman (1975), and the related work of Abelin (1971, 1975, 1977, 1980).;The sample consisted of 14 boys, seven FP and seven FA with a mean age of three years, five months. The FA boys had not had a father or male surrogate in the household since the second birthday. The children were from middle class homes and had no siblings.;Intellectual development and cognitive style were measured by the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities (1972). In addition, the Mykelbust Pupil Rating Scale Revised (1981) measured similar variables.;The major hypothesis was that father absence affects the intellectual development of boys. The subordinate hypotheses stated that there would be a difference in overall intellectual functioning between FP and FA boys, that FP boys would perform better on perceptual-performance tasks as well as gross and fine-motor tasks, and that FA boys would perform better on verbal tasks. Finally, it was stated that there would be a relationship between the McCarthy Scales and the Pupil Rating Scale.;The data was analyzed by use of t-test and correlation analysis. The analysis yielded no predicted significant differences between the FP and FA groups. The only significant difference found was on the Memory scale of the McCarthy. The FA group scored significantly better than the FP group on short-term memory tasks (p .05). However, additional analysis of the various sub-tests showed no significant simple effects. Finally, there was no significant relationship found between the scores for the two groups on the McCarthy Scales and the Pupil Rating Scale.
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