ERIC Number: ED223960
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Fathers as Mentors to Daughters. Radcliffe Institute Working Paper.
Kahn, Diana Grossman
Research literature on female achievers has consistently shown that the encouragement of fathers who act as mentors to their daughters is particularly important. To examine the behavior of fathers with their daughters, female junior and senior college students (N=114) completed an 11-page questionnaire about their personal background. Some of the women (N=36) were then interviewed about the significant influences in their lives. Results showed that common themes of father influence emerged, e.g., offering simple companionship, actively teaching, and investing hope in a daughter's career. Results also indicated that fathers can discourage, e.g., over-protect, insist on ladylike behavior to the detriment of competence, and discourage daughters about their math ability. Three factors tend to explain the salience of fathers in the encouragement of daughters: (1) the essential (fathers behave in instrumental ways, making them naturals at mentoring); (2) the developmental (daughters experience the adolescent process of separation-individuation from mothers and thus are favorably inclined toward the father's advice); and (3) the structural (women in society at large are devalued, thus daughters value counsel of fathers more because his occupation almost always has higher social status than mother's). The findings suggest that the father's identification with his daughter carries a message of respect via the assumption of potential equity. (PAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Radcliffe Coll., Cambridge, MA. Mary Ingraham Bunting Inst.
Note: For related document, see CG 016 370.