Jewish Parents Found Less Rigid with Their Children Than Non-jewish

Jews are freer in permitting their children to help make family decisions, by comparison with Roman Catholics and Baptists, according to the results of a survey reported here today by Prof. Paul H. Whiteman, University of Wisconsin psychologist.

Dr. Whiteman’s survey studied 180 parents in the Minneapolis area in regard to the effect of their religious affiliations on child-parent relations. One-third of the respondents were Jewish, the others equally divided among Roman Catholics and Baptists.

There are “surprising similarities” in those respects as between Catholics and Baptists, he reported, and “striking differences between these groups and Jewish parents.” The latter, he said, “encourage their children to speak up more than do Catholic and Baptist parents.” This fact, he said, “may be related to the less rigid authority-structure characteristic of present-day Judaism, as compared with the other two religions.”

“The Jewish group,” he stated, “may be characterized as having the least closed system of beliefs and disbelief’s on absolute authority. As parents, they are most likely to interact flexibly and democratically with each other and their children.”

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