Do Fathers Just Want to Have Fun? Commentary on Theorizing About Father-Child Relationships
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.
Roggman, L. A. (2004). Do fathers just want to have fun? Commentary on theorizing about father-child relationships. Human Development, 47, 235-248.