Maternal gatekeeping: Antecedents and consequences

Ruth Gaunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


This study examined maternal gatekeeping, its background and psychological antecedents, and its consequences for paternal and maternal involvement in child care. In sum, 209 couples with 6- to 36-month-old children completed extensive questionnaires. Analyses revealed that various dimensions of gatekeeping were differentially associated with the psychological antecedents and consequences of maternal gatekeeping. The standards and responsibilities dimension of gatekeeping was related to the mother's self-esteem, and it predicted the father's involvement in child care. The maternal identity confirmation dimension of gatekeeping was related to the salience of the mother's maternal identity, and it predicted her own involvement in child care. The importance of examining sociopsychological characteristics that account for gatekeeping tendencies is discussed, and the need is stressed to further explore the implications of these tendencies for various forms of involvement in child care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-395
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Child care
  • Father involvement
  • Maternal gatekeeping
  • Parenting


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