Mother, Father, or Parent? College Students’ Intensive Parenting Attitudes Differ by Referent
- 615 Downloads
Although intensive parenting is considered a dominant ideology of child-rearing, the tenets have only recently been operationalized. The Intensive Parenting Attitudes Questionnaire (IPAQ) was designed to assess the prescriptive norms of how people should parent and includes scales assessing the ideas that parenting is fulfilling, but challenging, and should be child-centered, involve intellectual stimulation, and is best done by women. The original IPAQ refers to parents, rather than mothers or fathers specifically, and was developed and validated on both women who were and were not mothers. The current investigation was designed to determine (a) whether women hold stronger intensive parenting beliefs than men and (b) whether answers on the IPAQ would vary depending on whether the referent was a mother, a father, or a parent. Participants included 322 male and female college students who were randomly assigned to receive one of three versions of the IPAQ referring either to mother, father, or parent. A main effect for sex indicated that female students held more intensive parenting beliefs than male students. A main effect for version indicated that referring to fathers led to more intensive attitudes than referring to mothers on the Child-Centered and Fulfillment scales, but parenting was rated as more Challenging than fathering. Whether the emphasis on father involvement found in the present investigation will translate into actual paternal involvement once participants have children is discussed.
KeywordsIntensive mothering ideology Parenting Father involvement Sex differences Family roles Intensive parenting attitudes scale
- American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Askari, S. F., Liss, M., Erchull, M. J., Staebell, S. E., & Axelson, S. J. (2010). Men want equality, but women don’t expect it: Young adults’ expectations for participation in household and child care chores. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34, 243–252. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2010.01565.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Blair-Loy, M. (2003). Competing devotions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Friedman, M. (2008). “Everything you need to know about your baby”. Feminism and attachment parenting. In J. Nathanson & L. C. Tuley (Eds.), Mother knows best: Talking back to the “Experts”. Toronto, ON: Demeter Press.Google Scholar
- Hays, S. (1996). The cultural contradictions of motherhood. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Hochschild, A. R., & Machung, A. (1989). The second shift. New York: Avon Books.Google Scholar
- Liss, M., Schiffrin, H. H., Mackintosh, V. H., Miles-McLean, H., & Erchull, M. J. (2012). Development and validation of a quantitative measure of intensive parenting attitudes. Journal of Child and Family Studies. doi: 10.1007/s10826-012-9616-y.
- Schroeder, K. A., Blood, L. L., & Maluso, D. (1993). Gender differences and similarities between male and female undergraduate students regarding expectations for career and family roles. College Student Journal, 27, 237–249.Google Scholar