Role of the father evaluation

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  • Role of the father evaluation
    • Inconsistent findings on fathers
      • Different researchers are interested in different research questions e.g. fathers as a secondary attachment figure vs fathers as a primary attachment figure
        • Those interested in fathers as secondary attachment tend to see fathers as acting differently from mothers
    • Children without fathers aren't different
      • Grossman found fathers had less important role in children's development. Other research has found children with single parents or same sex parents do not develop any differently to those in a two parents heterosexual family.
        • This suggests that the fathers role as a secondary attachment figure is not important
    • Why don't fathers become the primary attachment figure more often?
      • Traditional gender roles expect women to be more caring and nurturing, therefore men may feel they shouldn't act like that
      • Female hormones, such as oestrogen, create higher levels of nurturing. Therefore women are biologically pre-disposed to by the primary attachment figure.
    • Socially sensitive research
      • Research suggests children may be disadvantaged by particular child rearing practices
      • Mothers who return to work shortly after birthing a child restrict opportunity for achieving interactional synchrony
        • Suggests mothers should not return to work too soon (social and economic implications)

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