Fathers' Involvement in Child Care and Perceptions of Parenting Skill Over the Transition to Parenthood.

Journal Name
Journal of Family Issues
Journal Volume
Journal Issue
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Barry, Amy A.
Smith, JuliAnna Z.
Deutsch, Francine M.
Perry-Jenkins, Maureen.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
This study explored first-time fathers' perceived child care skill over the transition to parenthood, based on face-to-face interviews of 152 working-class, dual-earner couples. Analyses examined the associations among fathers' perceived skill and prenatal perception of skill, child care involvement, mothers' breastfeeding, maternal gatekeeping, mothers' work hours, fathers' depressive symptoms, and fathers' beliefs about responding to a crying child. Involvement was also examined as a potential mediator between some predictors and perceived skill. Findings suggest that breastfeeding and depressive symptoms were not related to involvement or perceived skill. Maternal gatekeeping was unrelated to skill yet had a negative relationship with involvement, if only at 1-month postpartum. Early father involvement mediated the relationship between perceived skill before and after the birth only for fathers who supported prompt response to a crying child. Finally, involvement at 1 year mediated the positive relationship between mothers' work hours and perceived skill at the same age. (Author abstract)

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