Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Parenting is probably one of the most important jobs in the entire world. Education in parenting can help the individual decide if and when the process of parenting will be undertaken. The problem as found in society is that individuals may not be receiving adequate education in parenting. The overall purpose of this study was to help identify the educational needs of youth in South Louisiana in the area of parenting. Parenting knowledge, skills, and attitudes were specifically focused upon. Each of these aspects of parenting behavior was studied to also determine differences among males and females. Freshmen entering a South Louisiana University comprised the population of the study. Data were collected with a questionnaire covering concepts, skills, and attitudes concerned with parenting, as well as personal and family characteristics. Two hundred and two males and 201 females returned usable questionnaires. The data were analyzed to determine the relationship between sex of the respondents and their knowledge of specific parenting concepts, ability to perform parenting tasks, and attitudes toward parenting. The findings related to these dimensions of parenting were as follows: Parenting Knowledge. (a)For a majority of the 52 concepts grouped under 7 major areas of parenting knowledge, more than 70 percent of all respondents indicated adequate knowledge. Two areas where adequate knowledge fell within the 50-70 percent range pertained to family and social situations and problems and health care. Some variations in adequacy of knowledge were observed among the several concepts within the seven major areas. (b)It was statistically significant that females had more knowledge than males of concepts related to the anatomy and physiology of the female; limiting family size; treating childhood illnesses; growth, discipline and management of children; self-responsibility; working of child care centers; and role of mother and child. (c)It was statistically significant that males had more knowledge than females of concepts related to the anatomy and physiology of the male; premarital sex; first aid and child safety; and role of the father. Parenting Tasks. (a)It was statistically significant that more females than males had already performed, or felt confident of performing in the future, parenting tasks related to general child care (8 tasks), health care (3 tasks) and resource management (4 tasks). (b)There were no differences on two child care and four resource management tasks. Parenting Attitudes. (a)Both males and females had a relatively modern attitude toward parenting. (b)Females tended to have a more modern attitude than males as evidenced by higher "modern" attitudes scores on 20 of 26 statements. Utilizing information from this study, a curriculum could be designed to meet the learning needs of youth incorporating in particular those concepts and skills in which deficiencies were observed. Group discussions, lectures, literature, actual practice and films can be useful. The individuals who are responsible for guiding youth to become better parents need to be well qualified in human relations. Parenting must be respected as a critical undertaking in which the entire community has an important stake. Parent-child interaction should be seen as a worth-while social investment. A deepening of parental commitment by parents is essential along with a consciousness of child-rearing responsibility by the community at large.