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The Child's Control of his Kindred in View of Geographical Mobility and its Effects

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
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In the effort to discover what, if any, effect the dispersion of children's near relatives had on their conception of the composition of their family, we set ninety-eight boys and girls between the ages of five and thirteen the task of naming and identifying their parents' siblings and their spouses and then looked at the accuracy of these answers in terms of present location of these persons. Speaking generally, it is apparently clear that geographic distance improves only the likelihood of the older child's remembering his aunts and uncles, and may have an inverse effect on the younger boys especially. These boys are the most "childish," in their answers; that is to say, the most often wrong. The younger girls present a pattern of responses more like the older boys than like the older girls, whose answers are nearly perfectly adult.

Affiliations: 1: Fels Research Institute, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, U.S.A.


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