The impact of birth order on intergenerational transmission of attitudes from parents to adolescent sons: The Israeli case

  • Kulik L
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This study deals with birth order and its impact on intergenerational transmission of parental attitudes to adolescent sons in Israeli society. The sample included 294 participants ( including 98 mothers, 98 fathers, and 98 sons). The attitudes chosen were key issues of concern in Israeli society: gender role attitudes, ethnic stereotypes, and attitudes toward immigrants from the former USSR ( disposition toward contact and empathy toward immigrants). The findings indicate that birth order impacts on intergenerational transmission of attitudes from parents to adolescents, although the nature of this impact is different for mothers and fathers. The correlation between fathers' attitudes and those of their sons were strongest for the firstborn, and decreased according to birth order. The reverse trend was found for mothers. In addition, firstborns expressed greater willingness to approach immigrants than did middle and younger children. Regarding gender role attitudes and ethnic stereotypes, no impact was found for birth order. Compared with other family members, mothers expressed the most liberal gender role attitudes, and children expressed the least stereotyped attitudes toward ethnic groups, especially compared with their fathers.

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  • L Kulik

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