Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

Assessing Coparenting in Families of School-Age Children: Validation of the Coparenting and Family Rating System

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

Assessing Coparenting in Families of School-Age Children: Validation of the Coparenting and Family Rating System

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study aimed to expand research on coparenting to include families of school-age children by investigating the psychometric properties of an observational coparenting measure, and by examining relations between coparenting and child adjustment in this population. Participants included 67 couples and a first-born, 7- to 11-- year-old child. Family interactions were coded with the Coparenting and Family Rating System (CFRS; McHale, Kuersten-Hogan, & Lauretti, 2000). For boys, Hostility-- Competitiveness (i.e., coparental competition, coparental verbal sparring, and child-centredness) correlated with anxiety on the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (Reynolds & Richmond, 1978) and with mother-reported Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total Problems on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach, 1991a). For girls, Parenting Discrepancy (i.e., mother-father differences in parent-child warmth and investment) correlated with mother-reported CBCL Internalizing. Results demonstrate the utility of the CFRS with school-age children and suggest that coparenting-adjustment linkages may differ by child gender.

Resume

Cette etude await pour but d'elargir la recherche sur la coparentalite en tenant compte de families d'enfants d'age scolaire lorsqu'on examine les caractcristiques psychometriques de la mesure d'observation de la coparentalite et lorsqu'on etudie les relations qui prevalent, dans cette population, entre coparentalite et adaptation des enfants. On comptait parmi les participants 67 couples et les premiers nes de la famine ages de 7 a 11 ans. Les interactions familiales ont ete codees a l'aide du Coparenting and Family Rating System (CFRS; McHale, Kuersten-Hogan & Lauretti, 2000). Dans le cas des garcons, on a pu mettre en correlation l'hostilite-competitivite (c'est-a-dire, la competition entre les parents, les disputes entre les parents et 1'attention portee a l'enfant), Yanxiete, telle que mesuree a l'aide de la Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (Reynolds & Richmond, 1978) et Yintemalisation, l'extemalisation et la somme des problemes rapportees par la mere mesurees a l'aide de la

Child Behavior Checklist(CBCL; Achenbach, 1991a). Dans le cas des fines, on a pu mettre en correlation les karts dans l'education des enfants (c'est-a-dire, les differences parentales relevees en ce qui a trait A l'investissement personnel et la chaleur d6montr6e a l'enfant) et element << Internalisation >> rapportee par la mere mesuree a l'aide de la CBCL. Ces resultats mettent en evidence l'utilite du CFRS aupres d'enfants d'age scolaire et laissent supposer que les relations entre adaptation et coparentalite peuvent etre differentes selon le sexe de l'enfant.

Over the last few decades, North American society has witnessed considerable changes in gender roles and family life. The division of labour within many families has become more egalitarian, since more mothers have become employed in the paid workforce and increasing numbers of fathers are adopting a more central role in childrearing (Pleck & Pleck, 1997). The domain of parenting, once virtually the sole responsibility of women, is becoming increasingly shared by mothers and fathers (Baker & Dryden, 1993; Mandell & Duffy, 1995). Given this societal shift toward more equitable sharing of parenting tasks, now is a particularly appropriate time to study coparenting processes and their relation to child development.

Interest in the study of coparenting may be traced to the 1970s and 1980s, with the introduction of family systems theory (Minuchin, 1974; Minuchin, 1985) and a subsequent increase in systematic study of fatherhood (Cowan, 1988; Cowan & Cowan, 1987; Lamb, 1997). Inclusion of fathers in investigations of family life, in turn, spurred the study of interparental interactions and their relation to child development (Gable, Belsky, & Crnic, 1992). Links between global marital functioning and children's adjustment have been well established (for a review, see Fincham, 1998). …

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