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Session Overview
RN13_04b: Parent-child relations, mothering and fathering practices IV
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Vida Česnuitytė, Mykolas Romeris University & Vilnius University
Session Chair: Helen Norman, University of Manchester
Location: UP.2.219
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Second Floor Oxford Road

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“Prenatal Fathers” On The Journey To The New Role. Exploration Of The Process Of Entering An Engaged Father Model In Contemporary Poland

Marta Magdalena Bierca

University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland

There have been significant changes in family roles in Poland over a last decade or so, with strong focus on alterations in the father's role. In the new model, the father is supposed to actively participate in daily parental chores and also build emotionally rich father-child relation. What is more, being a father may start even before the child is born – during pregnancy, but also even earlier, at the stage of parenthood planning.

The author analyses the modern father’s journey through the various boundaries and stages of “becoming a father” process. The research material reveals that building father-child bonds often happens, in the new model, through a number of symbolic practices like furnishing baby room or participating in childbirth classes. Modern fathers are also willing to possess theoretical knowledge on childminding before they actually face a new-born. Thus, the paper will focus on a number of areas: When and why is becoming a father sparked?; On private and intimate level, how do they play their upcoming fatherhood role?; On public and institutional level, how are they supported or limited by the outer world?

The aim of the paper is to capture and explore the process of becoming a father through close look at daily practices and narratives of modern Polish fathers. The empirical material will be provided by qualitative interviews inspired by biographical method conducted with young fathers representing the ‘new’ paradigm. The paper will present also recent data concerning the development of the new fatherhood model in contemporary Poland.

Does Father’s Involvement During Childhood Foster Children’s Positive Behaviours In Adolescence?

Darya Vanchugova

The University of Manchester, United Kingdom

This paper explores how effective father involvement in the early years of a child’s life is for nurturing ‘positive behaviour’ in adolescent children - defined in this study as good social skills, educational motivation and non-engagement in perilous activities (e.g. drug abuse, anti-social behaviour, unprotected sex).

Understanding what factors shape children’s behaviour in adolescence is important given children’s conduct at this age has lasting effects on their individual health, well-being, social adjustment and educational attainment (e.g. see Sawyer et al, 2012; Lanctot, Cernkovich and Giordano, 2007; Beal and Crockett, 2010).

I use data from the Millennium Cohort Study, a nationally representative panel survey following 18,522 children born around the year 2000 in the UK. Factor analysis is used to derive a set of latent constructs, which measure father’s involvement in childcare when the child is aged 9 months, 3, 5, 7 and 9 years old. The latent variables are then used in a Structural Equation Model to predict children’s behaviour when they are aged 14, controlling for the mother’s involvement in childcare as well as other key socio-economic and employment factors associated with both fathers’ involvement and children’s behaviours.

This research endeavours to throw light on the longitudinal impact of active fathering practices. The study will also show whether any of children’s behavioural aspects under consideration is influenced by father’s involvement more than the others.

Father Involvement and Family Practices for Early Childhood Care in Pakistan

Nehaal F H Bajwa

University of Sussex, United Kingdom

The limited literature on fathers’ relevance to early childhood caregiving in Pakistan contributes to a detached, distant parental stereotype. This small-sample, qualitative study of fathering and family life in the Pakistani city of Lahore starts with the assumption that most fathers are embedded in families about which they care, and rejects macro-level discourses suggesting that ‘involved’ fathers are an exceptional, non-normative group in Pakistan. The study focuses on what ‘involvement’ means for this group of fathers and their families and how that is psycho-socially constituted. Through a series of semi-structured narrative and biographic interviews with families, their routines and family practices (Morgan 2011) were discussed. How these, their biographies, identities, traditions, and structural resources and constraints, intersected in narratives of fathering and family life, with reference to investments in some constructions of fatherhood over others, was made central. Families differently displayed (Finch 2008) how they were, or were not, like other families in various ways, with reference to how societal norms regarding family life and gender were changing. Some family practices seemed to have shifted toward more interchangeable, almost ‘degendered’ (Connell 2005) parenting, while in other respects the continued gendering of family work was complex and varied across families. Some father involvement was often necessary for a family’s survival; the ways in which social space is gendered in Lahore affected women’s mobility and ability to perform many caring practices. This calls for a rethinking of gendered caregiving in Pakistan and has implications for policies aimed at engaging families in Lahore.

Societal Father Roles, Gender Ideologies and Father-Child Contact After Parental Breakup

Ivett Szalma1, Marieke Heers2

1Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary; 2FORS, University of Lausanne

Most children of separated parents continue living with their mothers. Ideally, after parental union dissolution, parents will engage in effective co-parenting. However, for many fathers the increase in divorce and single parenthood implies that less time is spent with their non-resident children.. Lack of time and financial resources are the most common reasons for this decrease in contact. Meanwhile, in a number of societies, fathers’ involvement in family life and particularly childcare have increased. Moreover, men’s involvement at home is strongly correlated with gender ideologies. The aim of this research is to examine how gender ideology and societal father roles affect non-residential father-child contact after parental breakup.

This research draws on data from the Generations and Gender Program from 10 countries and relies on data directly obtained from non-resident fathers (n = 1426) to examine associations between societal father roles, gender ideologies and non-resident father child-contact. Since the dependent variable is of an ordered scale, ordered logistic regression is used to study the determinants of father-child contact. We take into account that individuals within countries cannot be treated as independent observations. Our results indicate that fathers with more modern individual gender ideologies tend to have more contact with their children than fathers with less modern ideologies. Similarly, more modern societal ideologies are associated with higher levels of contact. The results for societal father involvement and its relationship with father-child contact are mixed.

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