North American studies that explore retrospective perceptions of fathering argue that adults' (both men and women) experiences and expectations of fathering are influenced by their relationships and experiences with their own fathers (Doherty, Kouneski, & Erickson, 1998; Guzzo, 2011; Lamb, 2010; Pleck, 2010).
The compensatory hypothesis stresses that many men feel the need to serve as role models to their own children in response to their lack of a perceived fathering role model when they were growing up (Daly; Guzzo, 2011).
Professionals need to convince young men that their health and well-being (and those of others) necessitate that they recognize the link between their sexual and procreative identities, as well as the association between their procreative and fathering identities.
* What do you believe your fathering philosophy will be if you become a father?
If men base their attitudes toward fathering on their experiences with their own father, then their perceptions of their father's participation in their upbringing, rather than father presence, would be particularly influential.
Their fatherhood attitudes are formed in opposition to their childhood experiences; they are determined to act differently than their own fathers and believe in the importance of fathering. Men with a social father or father-figure may hold more favorable attitudes toward fathering than men without a father-figure, as they may have had an opportunity to see father-like behaviors and thus use their experiences with social fathers as a contrast for their own father's perceived inadequacies.
One project focuses on the intergenerational learning of fatherhood--the linkages between the fathering
a young man has received and his own fathering
behavior, in the context of mothering and other aspects of family process.
Third, empirical research on fathering
reveals that other family of origin influences, particularly the parental marriage and the mother's view of the father, affect the quality of the son's or daughter's relationship with his/her male parent.
Effects of commitment and psychological centrality on fathering
. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, 130-138.
(1998) explained fathering
as a multilateral relationship with a range of influences, including mothers' expectations and behaviors, quality of the coparental relationship, economic factors, institutional practices, and employment opportunities.
Despite these challenges, these studies forged ahead and are yielding data that have the potential to improve our understanding of how these men father and how their fathering
influences children's development.
The recent work of Silverstein and Auerbach (1999) more insidiously devalued fathering
by reaffirming an emerging theme in behavioral science that the gender of the parent does not matter and the need for father may be met by any one of a number of caring adults, regardless of sex.