Acceptance and Caregiving of Married and Divorced Custodial Mothers and Fathers

Ricky Finzi-Dottan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The study examined whether differences in gender and family status affect parental caregiving disposition and acceptance of children among parents of children in mid-childhood. The number of participants were 122 divorced-custodial fathers, 107 married fathers, 85 divorced-custodial mothers, and 82 married mothers (n = 398). A comparison among four groups of parents revealed the following gender differences: mothers scored higher on anxious caregiving and parental acceptance than fathers, and lower on avoidant caregiving. Regression analysis indicated that the higher the caregiving avoidance or anxiety, the lower the parental acceptance. Family status moderated parental acceptance, as avoidant caregiving was associated with reduced parental acceptance among married parents, but not among divorced custodial parents. The finding that avoidant caregiving was not associated with reduced acceptance among divorced custodial parents implies that their parental acceptance behaviors toward their children are affected by their parental status as sole custodial parent, and the associated responsibilities, rather than by gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-401
Number of pages18
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 19 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • caregiving
  • family status
  • gender
  • parental acceptance


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