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

Jean Ann Summers, Helen Raikes, James Butler, Paul Spicer, Barbara Pan, Sarah Shaw, Mark Langager, Carol Mcallister, Monique K. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

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 of infants and toddlers across the four sites, using multiple data collection methods that included focus groups, open-ended interviews, and one case study. The data were analyzed to identify common themes across sites. The participants identified roles that included: providing financial support, "being there," care giving, outings and play, teaching and discipline, providing love, and protection. Implications of these qualitative findings are discussed with respect to their relationship to current theoretical frameworks about father roles. Further, these findings shed light on the question of whether low-income families view parenting roles as being relatively discrete (i.e., separate or "traditional" functions of mothers and fathers), or whether they view their roles in a more blended, co-parenting perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-304
Number of pages14
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999

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Fathers
Mothers
Parenting
Financial Support
Love
Focus Groups
Teaching
Parents
Interviews
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Low-income fathers' and mothers' perceptions of the father role : A qualitative study in four early head start communities. / Summers, Jean Ann; Raikes, Helen; Butler, James; Spicer, Paul; Pan, Barbara; Shaw, Sarah; Langager, Mark; Mcallister, Carol; Johnson, Monique K.

In: Infant Mental Health Journal, Vol. 20, No. 3, 01.09.1999, p. 291-304.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Summers, Jean Ann ; Raikes, Helen ; Butler, James ; Spicer, Paul ; Pan, Barbara ; Shaw, Sarah ; Langager, Mark ; Mcallister, Carol ; Johnson, Monique K. / Low-income fathers' and mothers' perceptions of the father role : A qualitative study in four early head start communities. In: Infant Mental Health Journal. 1999 ; Vol. 20, No. 3. pp. 291-304.
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