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Father involvement and coparenting behavior: Parents' nontraditional beliefs and family earner status as moderators

Authors

  • CATHERINE K. BUCKLEY,

    1. Purdue University
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    • Catherine K. Buckley, Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue University; Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan, Department of Human Development and Family Science, The Ohio State University.

  • SARAH J. SCHOPPE-SULLIVAN

    Corresponding author
    1. The Ohio State University
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    • Catherine K. Buckley, Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue University; Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan, Department of Human Development and Family Science, The Ohio State University.


  • This article was derived from the first author's masters thesis. Portions of this work were also presented at the 2006 National Council on Family Relations conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Ohio State and the NICHD for this research (HD 050235). We would also like to thank the families who participated in this study and the students who assisted with data collection and coding, especially Claire Cook, Evan Davis, Kimberly Snyder, Britt Thompson, and Arielle Sheftall. Finally, thanks to Stephen Petrill and Carolyn Reed for comments on an earlier draft of this article.

Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan, Department of Human Development and Family Science, The Ohio State University, 1787 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, e-mail: schoppe-sullivan.1@osu.edu.

Abstract

This study investigated relations between father involvement in caregiving and play and coparenting behavior using self-report and observational data from 80 two-parent families of preschool-aged children and examined parents' nontraditional beliefs about fathers' roles and family earner status as moderators of these relations. Results indicated that greater father involvement in caregiving and play was associated with less observed undermining coparenting behavior in dual-earner families. Conversely, greater father involvement in caregiving was associated with less perceived supportive and greater perceived undermining coparenting behavior in single-earner families. Father involvement in play was not related to coparenting behavior among single-earner families. This study highlights the importance of considering parental employment patterns and the multidimensional nature of fathering behavior when studying fathering and coparenting.

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