Taverna, Livia (2008) I comportamenti adattivi nei bambini di etĂ Â prescolare: gruppo linguistico italiano e tedesco in Alto Adige a confronto. [Ph.D. thesis]
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ADAPTIVE BEHAVIORS IN PRESCHOOL CHILDREN:
ITALIAN AND GERMAN LINGUISTIC GROUPS IN SOUTH TYROL COMPARED
The research aimed to study the development of adaptive behaviors in preschool children belonging to the two main ethnic and cultural groups that live in South Tyrol: the Italian and German linguistic groups.
Participants and Procedure
Two studies were conducted. In the first study 138 families have participated with children between 2 and 5 years, equally distributed for age and gender. 69 families belonged to the Italian linguistic group and 69 to the German one. In the second study participants were 77 families with children between 3 and 5 years, 34 of them were Italians and 43 Germans. Mothers' mean age in the first study was 34.87 (SD= 3.98), and in the second study was 35.58 (SD=3.75). No significant differences between Italian and German fathers' ages were found, neither in the first (t (118)=.438; n.s.), nor in the second study (t (71)= -.122; n.s.). On the second study German fathers that work as professionals are significantly more than Italian fathers (x2 (2)=5.905; p=.05). In the two studies mothers of the two cultural groups do not differ with respect to type of work (Ist study: x2(3)=5.783; n.s; IInd study: x2(3)=5.601; n.s).
Ist study: To evaluate differences in the development of adaptive behaviors we administered the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (Sparrow, 1984; ed. it. Balboni, 2003), to measure mothers' knowledge of child development we used the Knowledge of Infant Development Inventory (MacPhee, 1981); to examine parent's perception of control on childâs health we administered the Parent Health Locus of Control (De Vellis, 1993), and to study mothers' networks of social support we asked to fill in the Social Network Questionnaire (Bornstein, 1996). To control acculturation in the two linguistic groups we used the acculturation scale ARSMA-II (CuĂ©llar, 1995).
IInd study: On the basis of the results of the first study we administered: the Vineland, a questionnaire for social (Social Network), an acculturation scale (ARSMA-II), a measure for the social desirability, the MC-Social Desirability Scale (Crowne, 1960) and an interview on the family routines (Ecocultural Family Interview) with its codebook.
1. German mothers' reports on children adptive behaviors in the first and in the second study are significantly higher than those of Italian mothers. German children score higher in the Daily Living Skills (DLS) and in the Socialization (SOC) domains. (Ist study: [DLS] t (136) = - 3.492; p=.001; [SOC] t (136) = - 2.801; p=.006; IInd study: [DLS] t (75) = -4.691; p=.0001; [SOC] t (75) = - 4.032; p=.0001).
2. Mothers' social networks in the two cultural groups are different in both studies. German mothers declare to obtain major support from a friend (Ist study: 32.38%; IInd study: 31.80%), while Italian mothers rely mainly on their parents (Ist study: 36.09%; IInd study: 33.91%).
3. The interviews with Italian and German mothers on daily routines are different only with respect to the dimension Child and School. German families score higher in this Dimension that include items referring to child autonomy and independence at home and at school. (t (75) = - 6.887; p=.0001).
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