Knowledge About Parenting as a Predictor of Behavioral Discipline Practices between Mothers and Fathers

  • Zahir VallyEmail author
  • Fatima El Hichami
Research in Progress


Knowledge of child-rearing and child development is of the utmost importance to optimal parenting and child well-being. Most of what is known about parenting knowledge is derived from mothers or at-risk samples. Accordingly, in a sample comprising both mothers and fathers, we examined and compared parenting knowledge, dysfunctional discipline practices, and parenting self-efficacy. We also explored the preferred sources of knowledge employed by parents in gathering information about child development. Fathers demonstrated lesser knowledge about child development compared to mothers, were more likely to employ dysfunctional disciplining strategies, and relied on their partner for information about parenting. Parent gender, parent age, and ethnicity were significant predictors of parenting knowledge, and higher parenting knowledge was associated with diminished use of dysfunctional discipline behaviors. We discuss these findings in relation to the ‘gate-keeping process’ and sociocultural changes in relation to gender norms for mothers and fathers.


Parenting knowledge Discipline Parenting self-efficacy Child-rearing Childcare Fathers 



This study was supported by a SURE + Grant awarded to the first author by the United Arab Emirates University.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology & CounselingUnited Arab Emirates UniversityAl AinUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.School of Midwifery, Nursing, and HealthCoventry UniversityCoventryUK

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