Like fathers, like sons? fathers' attitudes to childrearing in light of their perceived relationships with own parents, and their attachment concerns

Ruth Sharabany, Anat Scher, Judit Gal-Krauz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Abstract: How does the way parents perceive and remember their relationships with their own parents during childhood relate to their parental attitudes toward their own preschool children? A sample of 62 fathers, aged 22–40, drawn from a longitudinal study of parenthood (Scher, 1991) was used to answer this question. Four factors served to assess the fathers' childrearing attitudes with their 3.5-year-old children: control and authoritativeness; repression; encouragement of verbal and emotional expression; and promotion of autonomy (Block, 1981). The fathers' relationships with their own parents in childhood (acceptance, and encouragement of independence; Epstein, 1983) and fathers' attachment concerns (fear of abandonment and fear of dependency; Mayseless, 1995) were examined by self-reports. Perceived acceptance by fathers' own father was positively associated with rearing attitude of control and repression and negatively with autonomy promotion. A controlling rearing attitude was associated with less behavior problems. Results were discussed as supporting a “model of reference” whereby the paternal role includes reference to experiences with mother and father during childhood that indicates similarity as well as compensation and change, Studies have documented the intergenerational transmission of risk and vulnerability between parents and their children via both mothers and fathers (e.g., Kendler, 1996). In extreme cases, instances of risk factors have been found, namely a very high likelihood that problems of mothers are transmitted to their children (Bifulco et al., 2002). Similarly, transmission of increased risk was found due to problems with the father's own father.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParenting Representations
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Research, and Clinical Implications
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages239-262
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780511499869
ISBN (Print)0521828872, 9780521828871
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Ofra Mayseless 2006 and Cambridge University Press 2009.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)

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