The Family as a System of Mutual Influences: Parental Beliefs, Distancing Behaviors, and Children’s Representational Thinking

  • Ann V. McGillicuddy-De Lisi
  • Irving E. Sigel
  • James E. Johnson
Part of the Genesis of Behavior book series (GOBE, volume 2)


Two major research approaches have been used in investigations of the relationship between family environment and the development of cognitive ability in children. One line of research has related family constellation variables, such as spacing and number of children, to intellectual outcomes, while the second line of research has related measurements of the family environment to intellectual outcomes. An instance of the former type of research is the confluence model (Zajonc & Markus, 1975). Within this model, each additional child in the family is viewed as “diluting” the intellectual environment of the home to a degree depending on the spacing between siblings. The focus of this approach is to predict differences in patterns of family configuration effects found for large samples, rather than to explicate specific interaction patterns in the home environment that could produce such findings.


Parental Behavior Belief System Parental Practice Family Environment Mutual Influence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann V. McGillicuddy-De Lisi
    • 1
  • Irving E. Sigel
    • 1
  • James E. Johnson
    • 2
  1. 1.Educational Testing ServicePrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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