Similarities and Differences in Fathers and Mothers Interactions with Offspring

Much of the research into parent-child relations has been informed by the belief that mothers influence children's physical, emotional, psychological, and social well-being through expressive and affective behaviors, including warmth and nurturance (Bowlby, 1969; Hojat, 1999; Mahler & Furer, 1968; Phares, 1992; Stern, 1995), whereas fathers have often been viewed as influencing children's development through the instrumental roles of provider and protector, and as role models for social, cognitive, psychological, and gender-identity development (Bronstein, 1988; Gilmore, 1990; Lamb & Oppenheim, 1989; Mackey, 1996; Parsons & Bales, 1955; Radin, 1981b). However, contemporary research suggests that maternal behavior is not situated exclusively in the expressive sphere any more than paternal behavior is situated exclusively in the instrumental one. Indeed, multivariate research in the 1990s demonstrated the importance of paternal expressive and affective behaviors despite the fact that mothers are often characterized as "superior caregivers," whereas fathers are viewed as "less capable of, and/or less interested in, nurturant parenting"

(Hosley & Montemayor, 1997, p. 175). As discussed below, fathers' and mothers' behaviors are in fact multidimensional and multifaceted, and these behaviors often vary as a result of contextual variables including youths' age and gender.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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