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Paternal Identity, Maternal Gatekeeping, and Father Involvement*

Authors


  • *

    This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (BCS-0126427, K.K.B. and B.A.M. BCS-0126163, B.V. and B.K.). Opinions reflect those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the granting agency. The authors would like to express their appreciation to Cathy Inman, Paul King, and Nikata Ligatum for their assistance with data collection.

**Brent A. McBride is a Professor in the Department of Human and Community Development, University of Illinois, 1105 West Nevada, Urbana, IL 61801 (brentmcb@uiuc.edu). Geoffrey L. Brown is a Research Assistant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kelly K. Bost is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human and Community Development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Nana Shin is a Research Assistant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Brian Vaughn is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the Auburn University. Byran Korth is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the Auburn University.

Abstract

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine whether mothers’ beliefs about the role of the father may contribute to mothers influencing the quantity of father involvement in their children's lives. Participants were 30 two-parent families with children between the ages of 2 and 3 years. A combination of self-report and interview data were collected from both mothers and fathers. Results from multiple regression analyses indicated that fathers’ perceived investments in their parental roles and actual levels of paternal involvement are moderated by mothers’ beliefs about the role of the father. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for future research on parenting identity and maternal gatekeeping as well as the development of parenting programs for fathers.

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