Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
James O. Prochaska
Seventeen antisocial, 17 mixed psychiatric, and 17 normal adolescents were compared in regard to their sex-role development. It was hypothesized that antisocial adolescents would display a more feminine unconscious sex-role identity and more conscious masculinity than normal adolescents, with the mixed group intermediate between the two. Also, their perceptions of the sex-role behavior of their parents were examined. It was expected that the disturbed groups would perceive greater sex-role inappropriateness in their parents. Lastly, they were compared for the possession of certain personality traits traditionally classified as masculine or feminine.
The fathers and mothers of the adolescents were also compared for their sex-role development. The fathers were expected to score in a manner similar to their sons. Mothers were expected to show the reverse pattern. All subjects were given the Franck Drawing Completion Test, Adjective Check List, and the Femininity Scale of the California Psychological Inventory. In addition, the adolescents were given the Parental Description Survey, and the parents were asked to fill out the Adjective Check List another time, this time checking those adjectives they would ideally like their sons to have.
No differences were found between any of the groups on sex-role identity and preference. The normal adolescents were more dominating, enduring, and nurturant than the mixed group, but only more enduring than the antisocial group. Fathers did not differ on any of the self-descript scales. Mothers of the normals had higher heterosexuality and affiliation scores, and lower succorauce and abasement scores than the other groups of mothers. There were no differences on the Parental Description Survey among the adolescents.
Fathers differed from each other on the ideal characteristics they would like their sons to have. Fathers of the normals wanted their sons to be more achieving and dominating than the fathers of the mixed and antisocial adolescents, and more enduring than the fathers of the latter. Mothers differed from each other on achievement and endurance, two of the three traits that their spouses differed on. Mothers of normals expected their sons to be more enduring than the other mothers and more achieving than the mothers of the mixed group.
Although there were no differences between the groups on many of the variables, the use of fourteen pre-selected predictor variables accurately classified the adolescents utilized in this study into their appropriate group. The use of twenty-four pre-selected predictor variables clearly differentiated the mothers and also the fathers in a manner consistent with their sons' placements.
The results of this study suggest that the possession on of certain characteristics, such as dominance and endurance, appear to be important for more adequate functioning in adolescent males. It is likely that those individuals who possess these traits receive more reinforcements from society than those who do not. Parents of these boys desire and perhaps reinforce these traits in their sons to a greater extent than other parents, and the latter, by not reinforcing these traits as much, may make. it more difficult for their sons to achieve an adequate adjustment.
Small, Arnold Charles, "Sex-Role Development in Psychiatrically Disturbed Adolescent Males and Their Parents" (1974). Open Access Dissertations. Paper 1064.