Parenting of Spanish mothers and fathers playing with their children at home

Magda Rivero, Rosa Vilaseca, María José Cantero, Esperanza Navarro-Pardo, Fina Ferrer, Clara Valls-Vidal, Rosa M. Bersabé

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The aims of this study were to compare the parenting behaviors of mothers and fathers when evaluated in a free play situation at home and to study how these behaviors were related to the sociodemographic variables of the family. The study included 155 mothers and 155 fathers from the same families in Spain. The children (90 boys and 65 girls) were typically developing and were aged between 10 and 47 months old. The parents completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, and parenting behaviors in four domains (Affection, Responsiveness, Encouragement, and Teaching) were assessed from self-recorded videotapes, in accordance with the Spanish version of the PICCOLO. Our results showed both commonalities and differences between the mothers and fathers. The mean scores for the four parenting domains followed a similar pattern in both mothers and fathers: the highest mean score was in the Responsiveness domain, followed by the Affection, Encouragement, and the Teaching domains. Regarding the second aim, no differences were observed in parenting according to the child’s gender and the only domain related to the child’s age was mother’s Teaching. Mothers with a higher educational level scored higher on all parenting domains, except for Responsiveness. Family income was positively related to maternal Affection, Encouragement, and the total PICCOLO score, and to the father’s score in the Teaching domain. This study provides evidence that Spanish mothers and fathers show very similar strengths for promoting children’s development during interactions. These results are relevant to inform social public policies and family programs.

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’articlee0266762
RevistaPLoS ONE
Número6 June
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - de juny 2022
Publicat externament


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