Fathers' parenting: Effects of behavioral style and availability on the child's self-concept at early adulthood

Date of Completion

January 2003


Psychology, Social|Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Clinical




The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between fathers' parenting behavior and physical availability to their adult children's self-view. A secondary purpose of this study was to examine which dimension of parenting behavior, Acceptance-Rejection, Non-Coerciveness-Coerciveness, or Firm-Lax Control, would be the most powerful predictor of self-view. Also, the impact of a parent's influence in decision-making on the above relationships was examined. A sample of 197 intact families (mother, father, and a college-age student participant) was used in which both parents have continued to work outside of the home for most of the child's life. Although self-view was assessed with nine measures of self-concept, self-esteem, and self-efficacy, only a single aggregated factor, called “Self-View” was used in the core analyses. Results from hierarchical regression analyses indicated that, while mothers' and father's Parenting Quality (an aggregate of the three dimensions of parenting behavior) were similarly predictive of Self-View, fathers' physical availability was an almost equally strong predictor as Parenting Quality while mothers' availability was not predictive of Self-View whatsoever. The Acceptance-Rejection dimension of parenting was the most powerful predictor of Self-View for both mothers and fathers. However, mothers' Firm Control and Non-Coerciveness, the latter in an interaction with the mothers' availability and the gender of the student, was also a significant predictor of Self-View. Interparental influence in decision-making did not impact the relationships between the parenting variables assessed and the Self-View of the students. Potential reasons for these findings, limitation of the study, and directions for future research are discussed. ^