Theorizing the Father-Child Relationship: Mechanismes and Developmental Outcomes

Theorizing the Father-Child Relationship: Mechanismes and Developmental Outcomes

Theorizing the Father-Child Relationship: Mechanismes and Developmental Outcomes

Theorizing the Father-Child Relationship: Mechanismes and Developmental Outcomess

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Référence bibliographique [4106]

Human Development, vol. 47, p. 193-219.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
« The aim of this paper is to explore the biological necessity of fatherhood, independent of the fact that paternal roles are more culturally variable than maternal roles » (p. 194); and to propose a theorization of the father-child relationship based on our current understanding of attachment, interaction between fathers and their young children, and human-specific adaptations.

Questions/Hypothèses :
« The comparison of mother-child and father-child interaction suggests that fathers play a particularly important role in the development of children’s openness to the world. » (p. 193)

2. Méthode


Type de traitement des données :
Réflexion critique

3. Résumé


« In the first part of this article, an evolutionist perspective of adaptation with regard to the fathers will be put forth, considering current knowledge of both human and non-human primates. In the second part, a number of indicators of the importance of paternal authority in the past and present Western societies will be described. In the third part, comparisons of fathers and mothers in studies of parent-child interaction will serve as a focus, so as to illustrate the paternal function of fostering openness to the outside world in children. » (p. 194) « Men seem to have a tendency to excite, surprise, and momentarily destabilize children; they also tend to encourage children to take risk, while at the same time ensuring the latter’s safety and security, thus permitting children to learn to be braver in unfamiliar situations, as well as to stand up for themselves. But this dynamic can only be effective in the context of an emotional bond between father and child; this relationship is termed the father-child activation relationship, in contrast to the mother-child attachment relationship aimed at calming and comforting children at times of stress. The activation relationship is developed primarily through physical play. It is postulated in particular, that father-child rough-and-tumble play encourages obedience and the development of competition skills in children. » (p. 193)