Title

Do Fathers Just Want to Have Fun? Commentary on Theorizing About Father-Child Relationships

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Human Development

Volume

47

Issue

4

Publisher

Karger

Publication Date

2004

First Page

228

Last Page

236

DOI

10.1159/000078725

Abstract

When a parent comforts a crying infant, we may view the response as caring, sensitive, and indicating a quality of responsiveness that leads to secure attachment. Of course, depending on our theoretical perspective, we may also view this parental response as positive reinforcement of crying behavior. Our theoretical perspective guides our view and our interpretation of it. Many theories are available to guide our observations of parent behavior, especially of mothers’ behaviors. Studying fathers can be more challenging though, because of the current lack of a strong guiding theory about fathering. Somewhat like a traveler without a map or guidebook, a researcher observing fathers may notice interesting things without understanding clearly what they mean.

Comments

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