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.
- Father involvement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology