Occupational Self-Direction, Education, and Fathers' Involvement with Young Children

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The Ohio State University

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The purpose of this study was to determine how job complexity, specifically, the level of self-direction in a father's occupation, affects paternal involvement. Fathers, from a sample of 112 families, completed questionnaires about employment, education and involvement with their children. This study addressed the following research questions: (1) Is the level of occupational self-direction of fathers associated with the level of fathers’ responsibility, caregiving and play involvement with their children? (2)Are levels of occupational self-direction related to the type of involvement fathers have with their children? (3) Do levels of occupational self-direction continue to relate to father involvement even after taking fathers' education into account? I hypothesized that fathers who have jobs with more occupational self-direction would be more involved with their children. I further predicted that fathers with highly self-directed occupations would be more involved in play activities. When taking fathers' education into account, I hypothesized that occupational self-direction would still be associated with higher levels of involvement. Results from analyses suggest that generally speaking there is no correlation in this sample between father’s occupational self-direction and paternal involvement. When considering work intensity, however, a marginally significant association was found when fathers’ work hours were less intense. Fathers with higher occupational self-direction and lower work intensity were more involved with respect to responsibility than fathers with high work intensity.



occupational, paternal, self-direction, involvement