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ERIC Number: EJ816366
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-0192-513X
Are Mothers Really "Gatekeepers" of Children?: Rural Mothers' Perceptions of Nonresident Fathers' Involvement in Low-Income Families
Sano, Yoshie; Richards, Leslie N.; Zvonkovic, Anisa M.
Journal of Family Issues, v29 n12 p1701-1723 2008
Guided by symbolic interactionism, this qualitative study based on interviews with 83 rural mothers investigated mothers' perceptions of nonresident fathers' involvement in low-income families. Contrary to some fathers' claims that mothers "gatekeep" their access to children, the majority of mothers in our study wanted increased father involvement. The mothers' desire for active father-child interaction was not dampened by their frustration at the lack or irregularity of child support payment, which mothers tended to accept, given the lack of economic opportunities in rural communities. Despite their wishes to promote father-child contact, mothers also experienced frustration and distrust toward former partners when they perceived that the fathers were not fulfilling their expected parental roles. This study demonstrates that mothers' actions, which may be interpreted as gatekeeping by the fathers, are often not intended to discourage father involvement but rather are meant to negotiate more acceptable father behavior. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Parents
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A