What About Dad? Adjusting to Parenting and Facilitating Children's Development

Doctoral Dissertation


The present study used latent growth curve modeling to examine trajectories of parenting attitudes among fathers with young children. Eighty-seven men were recruited to participate in a longitudinal study of fatherhood. Information was obtained regarding their personal demographic factors, histories of child maltreatment, socioemotional functioning, and parenting attitudes and beliefs over the first 24 months of their children’s lives. Results showed that fathers who had experienced abuse or neglect as children had less positive attitudes about parenting. In addition, at each time of measurement, fathers’ socioemotional functioning was related to their parenting attitudes. Life stress and externalizing behaviors were associated with less optimal parenting attitudes, whereas fathers with higher-self efficacy were more likely to have more positive attitudes toward parenting. Finally, fathers who had more positive parenting beliefs had children with greater levels of sustained attention at 24 months. These findings have implications for developing theories of fatherhood that take into account multiple factors that influence both fathers and their children’s development.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-07252006-111049

Author Kimberly S. Howard
Advisor John G. Borkowski
Contributor John G. Borkowski, Committee Chair
Contributor Thomas L. Whitman, Committee Member
Contributor Jay Brandenberger, Committee Member
Contributor Scott Maxwell, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2006-07-13

Submission Date 2006-07-25
  • United States of America

  • child development

  • parenting

  • fathers

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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