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Fathers’ contribution towards toddlers’ aggressiveness

Kairis, Victoria 2013. Fathers’ contribution towards toddlers’ aggressiveness. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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In this thesis I investigated the relationship between fathers’ antisocial and physically aggressive behaviour and toddlers’ behaviour. Previous work has largely ignored fathers or seen fathers only as an influence on mothers and little is known about fathers’ aggressiveness. Families were recruited for the Cardiff Child Development Study (CCDS), which is a prospective longitudinal study of parents and their children. Parents were interviewed about their own behaviours during pregnancy and the children were assessed at intervals until 33 months of age (Chapter 2 describes the study design). Chapter 3 examined associations between the antisocial behaviour of the couple. Although men committed more antisocial behaviours than women, there were associations between partners’ rates of both violent and non-violent antisocial behaviours. The relationship between fathers’ antisocial behaviours and young children’s behaviour was explored in Chapter 4. Fathers’ non-violnt antisocial symptoms were associated with mothers’ reports of toddlers’ aggressiveness. Fathers’ physical aggressiveness was associated with infants’ contentious behaviours, toddlers’ aggressiveness and observations of toddlers’ use of force against a peer. When physical aggressiveness was considered more closely a component relating specifically to toddlers’ physical aggressiveness was identified. Fathers’ physical aggressiveness was associated with toddlers’ physical aggressiveness, which suggests a homotypic continuity in physical aggressiveness between fathers and toddlers. All of the associations between fathers’ and toddlers’ behaviours remained significant after controlling for the mothers’ behaviours. Thus, fathers’ behaviours provide unique contributions towards toddlers’ behaviours independently of the mothers’ behaviours. Since antisocial fathers are more likely to be absent fathers Chapter 5 examined the relationship between fathers’ physical aggressiveness and father absence. Although father absence was associated with fathers’ physical aggressiveness, it did not explain the association between fathers’ and toddlers’ physical aggressiveness. Together these findings show that fathers are important to study in their own right, rather than as an influence on mothers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Funders: NISCHR
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:29

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