ERIC Number: ED252279
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Father's Involvement and Affect to Infant: "More" May Not Be "Better."
Bailey, William T.
Both the popular and professional literatures commonly suggest that the more involvement by fathers in their infants' routine care the better. However, empirical support for this position is far from conclusive. Although several researchers have reported a positive relationship between father involvement and father-infant relations, others have failed to find such a connection. In this study, fathers' responsiveness to their infants in a structured living room setting was related to their involvement in child care activities. Thirty middle class, white families with an infant (mean age 13 months) participated. Fathers' involvement was measured by a questionnaire and a 24-hour "Baby's Day Diary," which families kept for 7 days. Responsiveness was measured as the percent of the baby's social elicitations to which the father responded. A significant negative relationship was found between the fathers' responsiveness and involvement in infant care. An even stronger negative relationship was found for responsiveness to baby's proximal behaviors (e.g., the baby goes to father). These findings were tentatively interpreted as resulting from fathers' negative feelings about their involvement, which may result in role conflict. Analogous findings from related research are reviewed. (Author/CB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (30th, New Orleans, LA, March 29-31, 1984).