Low-income fathers' and mothers' perceptions of the father role: A qualitative study in four early head start communities

Citation
Ja. Summers et al., Low-income fathers' and mothers' perceptions of the father role: A qualitative study in four early head start communities, INF MEN H J, 20(3), 1999, pp. 291-304
Citations number
30
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Psycology
Journal title
INFANT MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL
ISSN journal
0163-9641 → ACNP
Volume
20
Issue
3
Year of publication
1999
Pages
291 - 304
Database
ISI
SICI code
0163-9641(199923)20:3<291:LFAMPO>2.0.ZU;2-I
Abstract
A qualitative inquiry in four Early Head Start Research sites explored the question of how low-income mothers and fathers view the role of fathers in their families. Role perceptions were gathered from a total of 56 parents o f infants and toddlers across the four sites, using multiple data collectio n methods that included focus groups, open-ended interviews, and one case s tudy. The data were analyzed to identify common themes across sites. The pa rticipants identified roles that included: providing financial support, "be ing there," care giving, outings and play, teaching and discipline, providi ng love, and protection. Implications of these qualitative findings an disc ussed with respect to their relationship to current theoretical frameworks about father roles. Further, these findings shed light on the question of w hether low-income families view parenting roles as being relatively discret e (i.e., separate or "traditional" functions of mothers and fathers), or wh ether they view their roles in a more blended, co-parenting perspective.