DO PARENTS THINK IT TAKES A VILLAGE? PARENTS’ ATTITUDES TOWARDS NONPARENTAL ADULTS’ INVOLVEMENT IN THE UPBRINGING AND NURTURE OF CHILDREN

Authors


  • This study is part of a larger research project on enhancing civil society involvement with youth and families and was funded by The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw; 410020001).

  • Thanks are due to all representatives of schools, playgroups and daycare centers for their cooperation and assistance in data collection. We would especially like to acknowledge Mayke Schouten's contribution in data preparation.

Please address correspondence to: Miss Marije Kesselring, Heidelberglaan 1, PO Box 80.140, 3508 TC, Utrecht, The Netherlands. E-mail: m.c.kesselring@uu.nl

Abstract

The current study explored parents’ attitudes towards nonparental adults’ involvement in childrearing practices. Parents’ attitudes were operationalized in their willingness to share parenting responsibility and interest to participate in parenting activities. Data were collected through a quantitative survey with 1,090 parents from 17 Dutch neighborhoods. Results suggest that parents are ambivalent about involving others in childrearing practices. Furthermore, parents seem to prefer activities that do not focus explicitly on childrearing, but that do assist them in handling parenting tasks or give them the opportunity to exchange experiences. Fathers, parents with more sources of informal support, and parents who gave support themselves were more willing to share responsibility, whereas non-Western parents, parents with positive judgments on cohesion and trust in their neighborhood, parents with more sources of formal support, and parents who gave support themselves were more interested in participating in activities.

Ancillary