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03-03-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 12/2015

Journal of Child and Family Studies 12/2015

How Similar are Mothers and Fathers of Young Children in Their Parenting Responses and Goals?

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 12/2015
Auteurs:
Catherine A. Horvath, Catherine M. Lee, Karen Bax

Abstract

The toddler and preschool years present numerous parenting challenges. This study was designed to explore the extent to which mothers and fathers in dual-income families with toddler or preschool age children are similar in their parenting responses and in their parenting goals. Participants were 148 primarily professional, White (84.6 %), dual-income couples (mothers’ M age = 33.1 years; fathers’ M age = 35.5 years) with a first child between the ages of 18–60 months. Parents completed the Child Behavior Vignettes - Toddler and Preschool Version which yielded a measure of parenting responses and a measure of parenting goals. Child adjustment was measured by parent reports on the Child Behavior Checklist. We calculated parenting similarity using Finn’s r. Responses to parenting situations involving child misbehavior and child withdrawn behavior were examined. We found that parents in dual-income families were similar in their parenting responses and in their parenting goals. However the degree of similarity in parenting responses was not related to similarity in goals; furthermore, the degree of similarity was not linked to child adjustment. We offer possible interpretations for these findings and future research directions.

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