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Maternal Gatekeeping: Mothers' Beliefs and Behaviors That Inhibit Greater Father Involvement in Family Work

Sarah M. Allen and Alan J. Hawkins
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 61, No. 1 (Feb., 1999), pp. 199-212
DOI: 10.2307/353894
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353894
Page Count: 14
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Maternal Gatekeeping: Mothers' Beliefs and Behaviors That Inhibit Greater Father Involvement in Family Work
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Abstract

Maternal gatekeeping is conceptualized within the framework of the social construction of gender and is defined as having three dimensions: mothers' reluctance to relinquish responsibility over family matters by setting rigid standards, external validation of a mothering identity, and differentiated conceptions of family roles. These three conceptual dimensions of gatekeeping are operationalized with modest reliability and tested with a confirmatory factor analysis on a sample of 622 dual-earner mothers. With cluster analyses, 21% of the mothers were classified as gatekeepers. Gatekeepers did 5 more hours of family work per week and had less equal divisions of labor than women classified as collaborators.

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