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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


Alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) is rare disorder characterised by recurrent attacks of hemiplegia followed by developmental delay. We investigated the parental perceptions and psychosocial issues of AHC. Using a questionnaire sent to the French AHC association, we investigated families' concerns and needs of support. Additionally, we evaluated the impact of this disease. RESULTS: We analysed 47 questionnaires from 30 families. At time of diagnosis, the concern of the parents was highest for the hemiplegic spells and abnormal eye movements. These concerns decreased over time. The highest concern at the time of the study was the outcome of the patients with an emphasis on cognitive consequences and the level of autonomy. The results showed that AHC has a significant impact on families. INTERPRETATION: Our data enhance how the explanation of the disease by healthcare professional is important. This study also highlights the need for family support over time.

Concepts: Family, Psychology, Parent, Disability, Mother, Father, Hemiplegia, Alternating hemiplegia


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


OBJECTIVE:To examine the prevalence of maternal and paternal spanking of children at 3 and 5 years of age and the associations between spanking and children’s externalizing behavior and receptive vocabulary through age 9.METHODS:The Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study, a longitudinal birth cohort study of children in 20 medium to large US cities, was used. Parental reports of spanking were assessed at age 3 and 5, along with child externalizing behavior and receptive vocabulary at age 9 (N = 1933). The data set also included an extensive set of child and family controls (including earlier measures of the child outcomes).RESULTS:Overall, 57% of mothers and 40% of fathers engaged in spanking when children were age 3, and 52% of mothers and 33% of fathers engaged in spanking at age 5. Maternal spanking at age 5, even at low levels, was associated with higher levels of child externalizing behavior at age 9, even after an array of risks and earlier child behavior were controlled for. Father’s high-frequency spanking at age 5 was associated with lower child receptive vocabulary scores at age 9.CONCLUSIONS:Spanking remains a typical rearing experience for American children. These results demonstrate negative effects of spanking on child behavioral and cognitive development in a longitudinal sample from birth through 9 years of age.

Concepts: Cohort study, Longitudinal study, Sociology, Childhood, Developmental psychology, Mother, Father, Paternal bond


The practice of joint physical custody, where children spend equal time in each parent’s home after they separate, is increasing in many countries. It is particularly common in Sweden, where this custody arrangement applies to 30 per cent of children with separated parents. The aim of this study was to examine children’s health-related quality of life after parental separation, by comparing children living with both parents in nuclear families to those living in joint physical custody and other forms of domestic arrangements.

Concepts: Family, Marriage, Parent, Mother, Father, Sibling, Child custody, Divorce