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Multiple Determinants of Father Involvement during Infancy in Dual-Earner and Single-Earner Families

Brenda L. Volling and Jay Belsky
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 53, No. 2 (May, 1991), pp. 461-474
DOI: 10.2307/352912
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352912
Page Count: 14
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Multiple Determinants of Father Involvement during Infancy in Dual-Earner and Single-Earner Families
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Abstract

In order to examine the influence of the father's personality, the infant's temperament, the marital relationship, and the work-family interface on observed father-infant interaction and reports of paternal responsibility during the infancy period, 54 dual-earner and 65 single-earner families were studied. A major goal was to explore whether specific determinants were more successful in predicting fathering in dual-earner as opposed to single-earner families (i.e., contextual specificity) and whether the prediction of fathering differed as a function of developmental period (i.e., developmental specificity). Results indicated that personality characteristics of the father were important in predicting the father's responsibility for child care in single-earner families but not in dual-earner families. The contextual factors of marriage and work were influential in predicting fathering in both dual- and single-earner households. There was no indication that the determinants differentially predicted fathering across the 3-month and 9-month measurement occasions. Results are discussed with regard to the importance of demonstrating empirically that the prediction of fathering may differ as a function of family context or developmental period.

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