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The role of fathers in child cohorts Experiences from relevant cohort studies in Germany Prof. Dr. Bernhard Kalicki State Institute of Early Childhood.

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Presentation on theme: "The role of fathers in child cohorts Experiences from relevant cohort studies in Germany Prof. Dr. Bernhard Kalicki State Institute of Early Childhood."— Presentation transcript:

1 The role of fathers in child cohorts Experiences from relevant cohort studies in Germany Prof. Dr. Bernhard Kalicki State Institute of Early Childhood Research (IFP) Munich, Germany

2 Topics and trends of our fatherhood research 1The Impact of the Transition to Fatherhood on the Marital Relationship 2Effects of Fathers on their Children: Outlines of a Child Cohort Study

3 1The Impact of the Transition to Fatherhood on the Marital Relationship

4 T1: N = 175 parental couples T9: N = 109 complete data sets

5 Increase of Conflict First Child Second Child

6 Decline of Positive Communication First Child Second Child

7 Decline of Intimacy & Sexuality First Child Second Child

8 Hours per Week Berufstätigkeit von Frauen und Männern vor und nach der Geburt Labour-force Participation of Women and Men before and after childbirth First Child Second Child

9 Relocation of Income Personal Net-Income (DM per month) %

10 Verteilung der Hausarbeit bei Ersteltern Relocation of Homework (First Child Group)

11 Changes of Life Situation Dissatisfaction with ones Situation Dissatisfaction with … - Occupational Status, Job, Income - Distribution of Homework, Child-care - Parental Role (parenting stress)

12 Changes of Life Situation Dissatisfaction with ones Situation Dyadic Coordination Individual Adaptation Allocation of Roles Commensurability of Costs and Benefits Procedural Norms for Fairness Role-Preferences & Life Plans Expectations Role-Competence

13 Changes of Life Situation Impairment of Marital Interaction Decline in Marital Satisfaction Dissatisfaction with ones Situation Constructive/Destructive Conflict Condition & Mood Occasions (time & place) Postponing other Tasks Increase of Conflict Decline of Positive Communication Decline of Intimacy & Sexuality Rising of Discrepancies in ones Partner Concept

14 Changes of Life Situation Impairment of Marital Interaction Decline in Marital Satisfaction Dissatisfaction with ones Situation Attribution of perceived Changes Critical vs. Benevolent Attribution Similarity of Life Situations Perspective-Taking

15 Subjective Attribution determines Impact of Negative Partner Behaviour

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18 Changes of Life Situation Impairment of Marital Interaction Decline in Marital Satisfaction Dissatisfaction with ones Situation Attribution of perceived Changes Conflict Behaviour Dyadic Coordination Individual Adaptation Transition to Fatherhood

19 Summary and Discussion 1.The birth of the first child triggers a relocation of roles according to traditional gender-roles. 2.Emerging dissatisfaction with ones life situation typically leads to lower marital quality. 3.Fathers experience these changes in gender-specific ways. 4.Nevertheless the underlying processes can be explained using general psychological theories.

20 2Maintaining Self-esteem during the Transition to Fatherhood

21 Contradictory Evidence and Four Hypotheses

22 Decline of Marital Quality (PFB total score) First Child Second Child

23 Stability/Increase of Self-Esteem (Positivity of Real Self) First Child Second Child

24 Stability/Decrease of Self-Discrepancy (Real-Ideal Discrepancies in Self-Concept) First Child Second Child

25 Four Hypotheses H 1 :The coping style of Flexible Goal Adjustment protects the persons self-esteem against the negative implications of the deterioration of the marital relationship. (Brandtstaedter & Greve 1994, Brandtstaedter, Wentura & Rothermund 1999)

26 Four Hypotheses H 2 :For men, high job satisfaction buffers the negative implications of a declining marital quality on their self-esteem. H 3 :For women, high satisfaction within the maternal role buffers the negative implications of a declining marital quality on their self-esteem. (Greenberger & ONeil 1993)

27 Four Hypotheses H 4 :An initially positive attitude towards pregnancy/parenthood serves as a protective factor for the self-esteem given the deterioration of the marital relationship.

28 Flexibility of Goal Adjustment (FGA) buffers the Impact of Declining Marital Quality on Self-Esteem of Men

29 High Job Satisfaction buffers the Impact of low Marital Quality on Self-Esteem of Men

30 High Frustration in the Maternal Role boosts the Impact of low Marital Quality on Self-Esteem of Women

31 Positive Attitude towards Pregnancy boosts the Impact of declining Marital Quality on Self-Esteem of Men

32 Summary and Discussion 1.Various protective mechanisms contribute to the maintainance of self-esteem given the decline of marital quality. 2.These processes are highly gender-specific. 3.Very positive attitudes of becoming fathers towards pregnancy and the forthcoming parenthood are risky given the typical course of marital quality.

33 3Effects of fathers on child outcomes: Outlines of a cohort study

34 Child Cohort Study multi-center study (7 research groups) inspired by the NICHD study on Child Care Timeline: (data collection: Feb-Jul/2010) Main Questions: - Effects of Type, Quantity & Quality of Care experienced during Early Childhood on Child Development - Interplay of Care inside & outside the Family

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36 Fathers in the NUBBEK child cohort study Observation & Teacher Interview (daycare setting) Family Interview and Testing of Child (family) Measures of Fathering: - Quantity & Quality of Care - Educational Beliefs & Goals - Personality (Big Five) - Life Satisfaction (domain-specific) - Marital Quality

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39 Thank you for your attention! Prof. Dr. Bernhard Kalicki

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