Fathers' perceptions of their role and interest in parent education Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zs25xb83x

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  • The major purposes of this study were to describe paternal attitudes toward fathering and parent education and to then explore the relationships among these attitudes and interests. Specifically, the study attempted to relate traditional/developmental attitudes of fathers to: (1) expressed interests in knowing more about child rearing; (2) willingness to participate in learning opportunities and (3) preferred methods of study. The study also investigated the relationships among selected demographic data and the variables represented in the major purpose. Subjects for the study were 57 fathers, all of whom had at least one child enrolled in one of three preschool programs located in Corvallis, Oregon. Data from these subjects consisted of responses to a series of three questionnaires: (1) Attitudes Toward Fathering Scale (Bigner, 1977); (2) Child Rearing Learning Interest Scale (Hawkins, 1974) and (3) a personal data questionnaire. Descriptive analyses of paternal attitudes toward fathering and parent education revealed that the fathers were highly developmental in their attitudes toward their role, expressed high interest in wanting to learn more about child rearing and willingness to participate in specific learning experiences, and had particular preferences for methods of study. Fathers in this study not only expressed a high degree of interest in wanting to learn more about child rearing and had preferences for particular methods of study, but they also expressed varying degrees of interest and a variety of preferred methods for various child rearing areas. These results are essentially in agreement with those of earlier studies. In order to describe more fully the relationship between attitudes toward fathering and interest in parent education correlation coefficients were established between traditional/developmental attitudes, learning interest and willingness to participate. The only significant relationship to appear was that between interest and willingness to participate (r = .40: p ≤ .001). Those fathers reporting a high degree of interest tended also to report being very willing to participate in parent education activities. Investigation of the possible relationships existing between selected demographic variables and attitudes toward fathering, interest in parent education and willingness to participate in parent education also revealed only one significant relationship (traditional/developmental attitudes with race). This finding is somewhat suspect because of the high degree of homogeneity of the sample. In order to explore in more detail the relationship between traditional/ developmental attitudes toward fathering and interest in parent education three null hypotheses were developed. It was hypothesized that traditional/developmental attitudes were not related to: (1) degree of interest in wanting to know more about child rearing; (2) willingness to participate in learning experiences and (3) preferences for particular methods of study. In each case, none of the statistical results showed significance at the .05 level. On this basis none of the null hypotheses could be rejected. Varying degrees of a traditional/developmental orientation toward the role of the father appears to make little difference in attitudes toward parent education. Implications for parent educators were discussed, as were limitations of the study and suggestions for further research
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