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Journal Article

Fathers, Sons, and Daughters: Differential Paternal Involvement in Parenting

Kathleen Mullan Harris and S. Philip Morgan
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 53, No. 3 (Aug., 1991), pp. 531-544
DOI: 10.2307/352730
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352730
Page Count: 14

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Topics: Children, Fathers, Sons, Daughters, Mothers, Parenting, Parents, Gender roles, Marital satisfaction, Wives
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Fathers, Sons, and Daughters: Differential Paternal Involvement in Parenting
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Abstract

This study examines cross-sectional differences in fathers' involvement with their adolescent chidren, using data from the National Survey of Children. The analysis focuses on 184 sib pairs and identifies factors associated with variability both within and between sibships. Characteristics that differentiate sibs—age and gender—are found to affect within-family variability. Gender composition, birth order, education of father, and wife's report of marital satisfaction are associated with variability in father's involvement across sibships. More detailed analysis of the effects of gender and gender composition suggest that while daughters receive less attention from fathers than do sons, this differential is attenuated by belonging to a sibship that contains more brothers. That is, daughters with brothers are advantaged relative to other girls. Sons are advantaged by being the "only boy."

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