The role of the father in children's development historically has been neglected. Studies examining family processes were primarily limited to mothers, under the assumption that mothers' influences encapsulated what (little) effects could also be attributed to the father. Although theory and research have begun to address fathers' roles in families in earnest, there is still much work to be done, particularly in regard to understanding the determinants of father involvement. One direction that has received attention from researchers is towards a conceptualization of environmental and contextual influences on fathers' interactions with their families. The goal of this study was to examine the influences of religion and spirituality on fathers' roles in the family system.
In this study, 174 fathers and their children ages 8–14 completed a battery of measures. Fathers reported on their personality, marriage quality, spiritual and religious lives, and involvement in parenting. Children also reported on fathers' involvement, marital conflict, and father-child attachment. Analyses were conducted to examine the extent to which more specific measures of spirituality (e.g., sanctification of parenting, religious coping) predicted father-child relations relative to global measures of religion (e.g., nominal measures of attendance, or one-item ratings of religiosity). Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to examine the relationships among fathers' personality, marriage quality, spirituality, father involvement, and father-child attachment. Results indicated that more specific measures tended to be better predictors of father-child relationships. However, spirituality was not found to predict father involvement or father-child attachment when marriage quality and fathers' personality were included in the model. The latter two constructs predicted both involvement and attachment, with spirituality as a covariate of marriage quality and personality. Therefore, spirituality may play a role in shaping marital quality and/or encouraging the manifestation of certain adaptive aspects of personality. Future research is called for that examines temporal relationships among these predictors. Further examination of how fathers' religious and spiritual lives are associated with their children's development will provide insight into how schools, churches, and families can best work to ultimately encourage positive family functioning.
|Advisor:||Grych, John H.|
|Commitee:||Saunders, Stephen, de St. Aubin, Ed|
|School Location:||United States -- Wisconsin|
|Source:||DAI-B 73/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, Personality psychology, Individual & family studies, Spirituality|
|Keywords:||Attachment, Fathering, Marital conflict, Personality, Religion, Spirituality|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be