Fathers are uniquely influenced by the contextual characteristics of their families, particularly by their coparenting relationships with mothers. The support fathers receive from mothers influences their level of involvement with their children and their competence in caregiving. The goal of this study was to examine how fathers' experiences of their coparenting relationships and paternal postpartum depression were associated with fathers' sense of competence in caregiving for their birth to 18 month old infants. The sample was comprised of 135 biological fathers (age 25–54 years, M = 34.67, SD = 5.7) that were cohabitating or married to their children's mothers. Fathers' competence in caregiving, parenting alliance, experiences of maternal gatekeeping, and symptoms of postpartum depression were assessed using the Parent Sense of Competence Scale, Parenting Alliance Inventory, Parental Regulation Inventory, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and General Health Questionnaire. The results showed that the strength of parenting alliance, critical maternal gatekeeping, and symptoms of postpartum depression are related to fathers' sense of competence in caregiving. Together, they accounted for 64% of the variance in fathers' sense of competence in caregiving scores. Thus the alliance and criticism that fathers perceive from mothers as well as their own symptoms of postpartum depression influence their comfort and skill in providing care for their infants.
|Advisor:||George, Carol, Perez, Linda|
|Department:||Infant Mental Health|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 50/06M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social work, Early childhood education, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Competence in caregiving, Coparenting, Fathers, Maternal gatekeeping, Parenting alliance, Postpartum depression|
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