Early childhood research quarterly
The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions and attitudes of fathers and mothers about their own and their spouse's parental roles, and to identify relationships between those perceptions and attitudes and variations in fathers' actual involvement in child rearing. Self-report and interview data were collected from 89 middle-class families to measure each parent's participation in three categories of parental involvement (i.e., interaction, accessibility, and responsibility), as well as perceptions of role expectations for fathers and perceived parental role investments. Several significant relationships between levels of father involvement, perceptions of the paternal role, and perceived role investments were revealed. Multiple regression procedures indicated that mothers' perceptions of their partners' investments in parent, spouse, and worker roles were the best predictors of total father involvement. Implications are drawn from the findings for the development and implementation of parenting programs for men. (Author abstract).
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