The major purpose of the present study was to explore the relationship of maternal beliefs about distancing as a communicational strategy with children's social competence. Secondly, this study examined how mother's beliefs about distancing might differ according to the type of childrearing situation (social vs. cognitive).
Sixty-nine children aged 45 to 82 months and their mothers were participants in the study. All of the participating families except one were Caucasian. The Com-munication Preference Questionnaire was employed to evaluate maternal beliefs related to distancing. Social problem solving, peer status, behavioral problems and social behavioral observations Were the four indicators used to tap children's social competence. Social problem solving was measured with a child's test. Peer status and behavioral problems were based on teacher ratings. Social behaviors were measured with 20 one-minute observations of each child.
With respect to the relationship between maternal beliefs and children's social competence, two sets of interactive effects were found. One was that of maternal beliefs and children's age on children's social problem solving; another was that of maternal beliefs and mother's education on children's positive behaviors. In the present study, mother's beliefs in distancing were conducive to social problem-solving ability in children of age 5 years or older but not in children under 5 years of age. Concerning the prediction of children's positive behavior, children with mothers who had education less than graduate school seemed to benefit from their mother's belief about distancing, but not the children with mothers of higher educa-tion (master's and above master's degree). In addition, maternal beliefs about distanc-ing in social situations were found to be negatively associated with children's parallel play. The more mothers preferred distancing strategies in social situations, the less parallel play behaviors their children exhibited. Concerning the relationship between the childrearing situation (social vs. cognition) and the mother's beliefs about dis-tancing, the results revealved that mother's endorsement of distancing was less in social than in cognitive situations.
本研究之主要目的在了解母親對於拉距策略(distancing strategy)的信念與兒童社會能力間之關聯，其次在探討母親的拉距信念(beliefs about distancing)是否會因溝通情境（社會性或認知性情境）而有所不同。
參與本研究之樣本包括來自於五個學前機構的六十九個兒童（年齡範圍為45至82個月）及其母親，在這參與研究的樣本中，除了一家外，其餘均為白人。本 研究之獨立變項為母親之拉距信念，其以「溝通偏好方式」問卷測得，所謂拉距信念意指母親對於使用拉距策略之信念，拉距策略可用於父母與子女的溝通談話中，目的是使兒童在心理上遠離此時此刻所發生的事件，運用推理能力去回憶過去的經驗，計畫或預期未來的結果，並運用不同的符號系統去儲存運用這些資料。本研究即在了解母親對於使用拉距策略的信念如何地影響兒童的社會能力。本研究之依變項-社會能力，包括社會問題幾決能力、同儕地位、行為問題與社會行為觀察等四 指標。