Parsons and Bales revisited: Young adult children's characterization of the fathering role

Gordon E. Finley, Seth J. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the mid-20th century, Parsons and Bales characterized the fathering role in terms of instrumental functions such as providing income, protecting, and discipline. In the present study the authors investigated the extent to which the fathering role has expanded to include expressive functions. An ethnically diverse sample of 1,989 university students from intact and divorced families retrospectively reported on instrumental and expressive father involvement. Results indicated that, although family form and ethnicity moderated the divergence between instrumental and expressive father involvement, fathers from both family forms and from all ethnic groups were rated higher on instrumental than expressive involvement. Strikingly, across both family forms and ethnic groups, seven of the eight most highly endorsed fathering functions were in the instrumental dimension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-55
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

Keywords

  • Divorce
  • Ethnicity
  • Father involvement
  • Fathers
  • Gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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