Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 98–107 | Cite as

Maternal and Paternal Perceptions of Social Competence in Children and Adolescents

  • Kimberly Renk
  • Vicky Phares
Original Paper


We examined maternal and paternal perceptions of social competence in children and adolescents. One hundred forty-seven parents rated scenarios depicting children who varied in age, gender, and social competence. Parents also completed questionnaires assessing the amount of time they spend with their own children, their gender identity, their psychological symptoms, and their affectivity. Results indicated that the amount of time parents spend with their own children was related to maternal and paternal ratings, whereas affectivity was related to paternal ratings. In contrast, parents’ gender identity and psychological symptoms were unrelated to their ratings of social competence. Finally, there was an interaction between parent gender and the level of social competence depicted in the scenarios they rated, suggesting that there were differences in maternal and paternal ratings. These findings emphasize the importance of examining the perceptions of both mothers and fathers when assessing social competence in children and adolescents.


Mothers Fathers Ratings Social competence 



This manuscript is based on the dissertation of the first author under the direction of the second author. Special thanks to the mothers and fathers who participated in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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