Processes Underlying Father Involvement in Dual-Earner and Single-Earner Families

Ann C. Crouter, Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Ted L. Huston, Susan M. McHale

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141 Scopus citations

Abstract

Correlates of father involvement were examined separately in 20 dual-earner and 20 single-earner families that were participating in a larger longitudinal study of the early years of marriage. All families had one child between 1 and 25 months of age. During interviews held 2 1 2 years after marriage, parents completed questionnaires from which data on fathers' work hours, sex role attitudes, perceived skill at child care, and perceptions of love for their wives were drawn. During the several weeks following these interviews, mothers and fathers were telephoned on nine occasions and asked to report separately on child care, leisure activities, and marital interactions that had occurred during the 24 hr preceding each call. Fathers in dual-earner families were significantly more involved in child care than single-earner fathers, but the two groups did not differ in leisure involvement with their children. More important, there were different correlates of father involvement in the two groups, patterns suggesting that dual-earner fathers may increase their involvement with their children at the expense of harmonious marital relations. The findings are discussed with regard to the importance of studying family processes in contrasting family ecologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-440
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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