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Concept: Father


This study examined differences in children’s psychological and social indicators in non-traditional families in Israel, focusing on fatherless families headed by lesbian mothers and single mothers by choice. Although Israel is considered an industrialized westernized country, centrality of the traditional nuclear family predominates this country.

Concepts: Family, Mother, Father, Sexual orientation, Sibling, Extended family, Nuclear family, Sociology of the family


Single parenthood is increasingly common in Western societies but only little is known about its long-term effects. We therefore studied life satisfaction among 641 individuals (ages 18-66 years) who spent their entire childhood with a single mother, 1539 individuals who spent part of their childhood with both parents but then experienced parental separation, and 21,943 individuals who grew up with both parents. Individuals who grew up with a single mother for their entire childhood and to a lesser degree also individuals who experienced parental separation showed a small but persistent decrease in life satisfaction into old age controlling childhood socio-economic status. This decrease was partly mediated by worse adulthood living conditions related to socio-economic and educational success, physical health, social integration, and romantic relationship outcomes. No moderation by age, gender, and societal system where the childhood was spent (i.e. western oriented FRG or socialist GDR) was found.

Concepts: Death, Parent, Sociology, Old age, Mother, Father, Western culture, Society


This study used cross-lagged modeling to examine reciprocal relations between maternal and paternal harsh verbal discipline and adolescents' conduct problems and depressive symptoms. Data were from a sample of 976 two-parent families and their children (51% males; 54% European American, 40% African American). Mothers' and fathers' harsh verbal discipline at age 13 predicted an increase in adolescent conduct problems and depressive symptoms between ages 13 and 14. A child effect was also present, with adolescent misconduct at age 13 predicting increases in mothers' and fathers' harsh verbal discipline between ages 13 and 14. Furthermore, maternal and paternal warmth did not moderate the longitudinal associations between mothers' and fathers' use of harsh verbal discipline and adolescent conduct problems and depressive symptoms.

Concepts: Future, Race, White American, Mother, Father, European American, English American, Paternal bond


Background and objectives There is strong evidence that parental processes such as monitoring and social support play an important role with regard to sexual risk behaviour among adolescents. We wished to explore the influence of both parents' monitoring and support on sexual risk behaviour among adolescent boys and girls. Methods Questionnaires concerning sexual risk behaviour, parental support and parental monitoring were administered to 15-year-old students (n = 1343; 628 boys). Crude and adjusted logistic regression models were used to explore the effect of parents' monitoring and support on sexual risk behaviour among adolescent boys and girls. Results Parental monitoring was more strongly associated with sexual risk behaviour than parental social support. In particular, less monitoring by the father was significantly linked to early first sexual intercourse among girls and to not using a condom during last intercourse among boys. Less monitoring by the mother was associated only with not using a condom at last intercourse among boys. Conclusion Parental monitoring, even more than parental support, may delay the onset of sexual activity and increase the frequency of condom use among adolescents. The effects of mothers' and fathers' parenting processes on sexual risk behaviour of adolescents differ. Paternal monitoring affects condom use among boys, and initiation of sexual activity in girls.

Concepts: Family, Regression analysis, Pregnancy, Sexual intercourse, Parent, Human sexual behavior, Mother, Father


The aim of the present study is to examine the relationship between parental emotion regulation, infant medical risks and representation of child’s behaviour at 3 months corrected age. The sample includes 28 couples (parents) and 32 preterm infants (4 set of twins) (AG average: 29 weeks), Low Birth Weight (average weight: 1180,62 gr), hospitalized for about two months. At the 3rd month of corrected age of the child all couples were interviewed using the “Clinical Interview for Parents of High Risk Infants” (CLIP; Meyer et al., 1993), which explores the emotional aspects associated with preterm birth. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using ATLAS.TI. After the interview, only 14 mothers and 14 fathers completed the Behaviour Rating Scale (SVC-80; Laicardi, 1998), which explores the observational-representative styles of each parent with respect to the child’s behaviour in the context of everyday life. We identified three Couples Groups indicating qualitative differences in the emotional functioning of the subjects mainly in the temporal dimension: 1) 12 “future-oriented”; 2) 12 “suspended in the present”; 3) 4 “oriented to the past”. The results show that the infant’s medical status has a impact on ability of parents to process the experience of preterm birth: increasing the infant’s medical risks increases the difficulty of parents ability to process the experience. The CLIP can be a useful screening tool to identify difficulties of parents, to structure interventions focused on the elaboration of the traumatic experience of birth and on improving the quality of parent-infant relationship.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Parent, Pediatrics, Mother, Emotion, Father, Preterm birth


Engaging fathers and improving their parenting and, in turn, outcomes for their children in preventive/promotion-focused parenting interventions has been a notable, but understudied, challenge in the field. This study evaluated the effects of a novel intervention, Fathers Supporting Success in Preschoolers: A Community Parent Education Program, which focuses on integrating behavioral parent training with shared book reading (i.e., Dialogic Reading) using key conceptual models (i.e., common elements, deployment model, task shifting) to engage and improve father (i.e., male guardians) and child outcomes. One hundred twenty-six low-income, Spanish-speaking fathers and their children were recruited across three Head Start centers in urban communities and were randomized to the intervention or to a waitlist control condition. Outcomes were obtained before and immediately postintervention and included observed and father-reported parenting and child behaviors, standardized assessments of language, and father self-reported parental stress and depressive symptoms. Attendance data were also collected as a proxy measure of engagement to the intervention. Parenting behaviors (observed and father-reported), child behaviors (father-reported), and language development of the children in the intervention group improved significantly relative to those in the waitlist control condition. Effect sizes (ESs) were in the small to large range across outcomes. Fathers can be engaged in parenting interventions, resulting in improved parent and child outcomes. Greater attention must be given to methods for maximizing parenting within a family and toward developing effective, engaging, and sustainable intervention models for fathers.

Concepts: Better, Marriage, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Parent, Mother, Father, Engagement


By the age of 21 years, 1 in 15 children will have had a parent with a diagnosis of cancer. A parent’s cancer affects the whole family. Adolescent children of cancer patients seek information about their parents' condition and support in reciprocal relations.

Concepts: Family, Mother, Father, Sibling


Because cross-species evidence suggests that high testosterone (T) may interfere with paternal investment, the relationships between men’s transition to parenting and changes in their T are of growing interest. Studies of human males suggest that fathers who provide childcare often have lower T than uninvolved fathers, but no studies to date have evaluated how nighttime sleep proximity between fathers and their offspring may affect T. Using data collected in 2005 and 2009 from a sample of men (n = 362; age 26.0 ± 0.3 years in 2009) residing in metropolitan Cebu, Philippines, we evaluated fathers' T based on whether they slept on the same surface as their children (same surface cosleepers), slept on a different surface but in the same room (roomsharers), or slept separately from their children (solitary sleepers). A large majority (92%) of fathers in this sample reported practicing same surface cosleeping. Compared to fathers who slept solitarily, same surface cosleeping fathers had significantly lower evening (PM) T and also showed a greater diurnal decline in T from waking to evening (both p<0.05). Among men who were not fathers at baseline (2005), fathers who were cosleepers at follow-up (2009) experienced a significantly greater longitudinal decline in PM T over the 4.5-year study period (p<0.01) compared to solitary sleeping fathers. Among these same men, baseline T did not predict fathers' sleeping arrangements at follow-up (p>0.2). These results are consistent with previous findings indicating that daytime father-child interaction contributes to lower T among fathers. Our findings specifically suggest that close sleep proximity between fathers and their offspring results in greater longitudinal decreases in T as men transition to fatherhood and lower PM T overall compared to solitary sleeping fathers.

Concepts: Parent, Sleep, Testosterone, Circadian rhythm, Father, Diurnality, Cebu City, Co-sleeping


Pediatric feeding problems occur in 25% of the general pediatric population and up to 80% of those who have developmental delays. When feeding problems place the child at nutritional risk, families are typically encouraged to increase their child’s intake. Family mealtime can become a battle, which further reinforces problematic feeding behaviors from the child and intensifies well-intentioned but unguided parental mealtime efforts. Family has an essential influence on feeding; however, studies to date neglect to address the family context of feeding difficulty. In this study we describe, in the context of everyday life, family management of feeding when a child had a significant feeding problem. Parents of children with feeding problems were interviewed with the Family Management Style Framework components as a guide. Twelve parents participated, representing nine families of children with feeding disorder. Description of family management of feeding provides a foundation for development of family feeding interventions.

Concepts: Family, Management, Child, Developmental psychology, Mother, Father, Process, Sibling


Sequence variants in the parental genomes that are not transmitted to a child (the proband) are often ignored in genetic studies. Here we show that nontransmitted alleles can affect a child through their impacts on the parents and other relatives, a phenomenon we call “genetic nurture.” Using results from a meta-analysis of educational attainment, we find that the polygenic score computed for the nontransmitted alleles of 21,637 probands with at least one parent genotyped has an estimated effect on the educational attainment of the proband that is 29.9% (P = 1.6 × 10-14) of that of the transmitted polygenic score. Genetic nurturing effects of this polygenic score extend to other traits. Paternal and maternal polygenic scores have similar effects on educational attainment, but mothers contribute more than fathers to nutrition- and heath-related traits.

Concepts: Family, DNA, Gene, Genetics, Parent, Mother, Father, Fatherhood