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Original scientific paper


Tea Pahić orcid id ; Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Učiteljski fakultet

Full text: croatian pdf 469 Kb

page 425-451

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Full text: english pdf 469 Kb

page 450-451

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Due to the historical perception of the father’s role solely as family breadwinner
and moral support to the mother the role of the father in the child’s life
has not been systematically researched until the 80’s of the 20th century. The
recognition that fathers are involved with children in varying degrees and in different
ways, and that the way and the amount of their involvement in child care
are linked with children’s cognitive abilities and socio-emotional adjustment, has
led to the recognition of the importance of the research in that domain. Many
researches have been conducted in this domain in the past thirty years, and
the results indicate a systematic increase of the father’s functional involvement
in child care over time (Biller, 1993; Parke, 1996; Pleck, 1997; Clark & O’Brien,
2004; Gray & Anderson, 2012). However, in 1997 Palkovitz proposed extending
the concept of fathers’ involvement, as fathers in the life of their children are
involved not only across the functional, but also across the affective and cognitive
level. Through their behavior fathers provide a sense of security and love
to children, and they are aware of the child’s social, emotional, cognitive and
physical needs, and knowingly plan strategies for their satisfaction. Considering
the above mentioned, the aim of conducted research was to determine the
extent to which fathers in Northwestern Croatia (N = 156) are involved in different
aspects of care for preschool children: the functional aspect, which is only
partially researched in Croatia, but also emotional and cognitive aspects which
are poorly represented on a global scale research. Fathers provided their estimates
on scales of functional, emotional and cognitive involvement. Research
results show that fathers are highly involved in all three domains of child care. In
the domain of functional involvement fathers are equally involved in care, play,
daily and occasional childcare obligations and are largely intrinsically motivated
to perform these activities. Also, most fathers are extremely prone to express ing positive emotions in relationship with the child, express great sensitivity to
the child’s emotions, think about the various issues of child welfare on a regular
basis and plan strategies for their realization.


fathers, preschool children, functional involvement, emotional involvement, cognitive involvement.

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