Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Objectives: An increasing body of research has documented the significant influence of father involvement on children’s development and overall well-being. However, extant research has predominately focused on middle-class Caucasian samples with little examination of fathering in ethnic minority and low-income families, particularly during the infancy period. The present study evaluated measures of early father involvement (paternal engagement, accessibility, and responsibility) that were adapted to capture important cultural values relevant to the paternal role in Mexican-origin families. Methods: A sample of 180 Mexican-origin mothers (M age = 28.3) and 83 Mexican-origin fathers (M age = 31.5) were interviewed during the perinatal period. Results: Descriptive analyses indicated that Mexican-origin fathers are involved in meaningful levels of direct interaction with their infant. A 2-factor model of paternal responsibility was supported by factor analyses, consisting of a behavioral responsibility factor aligned with previous literature and culturally derived positive machismo factor. Qualities of the romantic relationship, cultural orientation, and maternal employment status were related to indices of father involvement. Conclusions: These preliminary results contribute to understanding of the transition to fatherhood among low-income Mexican-origin men and bring attention to the demographic, social, and cultural contexts in which varying levels of father involvement may emerge. (Author abstract)
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