Primary caregiving fathers and breadwinning mothers: social psychological mechanisms underlying the division of family roles

Pinho, Mariana (2017) Primary caregiving fathers and breadwinning mothers: social psychological mechanisms underlying the division of family roles. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

28652 Pinho Mariana Psychology February 2017.pdf
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Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Item Status:Live Archive


Over recent decades there has been significant progress towards gender equality in the workplace and at home. Transformations in work and childcare domains have occurred for families in Western societies, including de-gendered parenting, in which childcare responsibilities are shared equally or assumed primarily by the father. Although these arrangements constitute a recent and rare phenomenon, this increase in proportion has been matched by an academic interest.
Using quantitative data from traditional and role-reversed couples, this research aims to explore the social psychological mechanisms underlying non-normative behavioural choices, as well as the consequences for couples' relationship quality, well-being and life satisfaction. Traditional couples are those in which the mother bears primary responsibility for child care while the father is the main breadwinner. In non-traditional role-reversed couples the opposite occurs. A sample of 242 individual parents with children from birth to 12 years old, completed an extensive questionnaire. Involvement in work and childcare, social psychological variables, relationship and life satisfaction, perceptions of their division of responsibilities and socio-demographic characteristics were examined. Results show how social prescriptions and structural characteristics are limiting the intersection between the mother and the father role, and help us understand how both roles can be more similar than different. The findings also disclose how by being involved men are assisting women’s career and help make a distinction between traditional and role reversed women’s views of the appropriate parental role for men and women. Furthermore, the results contribute for a better understanding of how gender ideologies and non-essentialist perceptions differ between couples in different arrangements and how they relate to involvement in childcare and well-being, as well as the role of choice in well-being, life and marital satisfaction.

Keywords:Family structure, Gender roles
Subjects:L Social studies > L370 Social Theory
L Social studies > L900 Others in Social studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:28652
Deposited On:31 Aug 2017 08:54

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