Contemporary Psychology, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2011, 153-169

Original scientific paper

Self-Perceptions of Parenthood among Mothers and Fathers of Young Adolescents

Gordana Keresteš - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb
Irma Brković - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb
Gordana Kuterovac Jagodić - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb

Fulltext (croatian, pages 153-169).pdf

Although both lay persons and scientists tend to believe that a child’s adolescence is one of the most difficult periods of parenthood, there is little empirical data about self-perception of parenthood among parents of adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine several aspects of self-perception of parenthood among mothers and fathers of young adolescents, and their relationships with the parent’s and child’s gender, and parental prior experience in the parenting of an adolescent child. Participants were 453 pairs of mothers and fathers of young adolescents aged 10 to 15 years, among whom 26% had prior experience of parenting an adolescent child, while the remaining ones had their first-born child in early adolescence. The results showed that most parents had a negative attitude toward adolescence. In spite of this, they perceived their own parenting role positively. Parent’s gender was an important factor for three out of seven measured aspects of self-perception of parenthood (in comparison with fathers, mothers had more negative attitudes toward adolescence and reported greater importance of parenting and higher parenting stress), and child’s gender just for one (parents of female children scored higher on parenting internal locus of control than parents of male children). Prior experience had a negative effect on parenting self-efficacy of both parents, as well as on fathers’ satisfaction with parenthood. The importance of investigating various aspects of self-perceived parenthood among parents of adolescents, as well as factors related to them, was emphasized in the discussion.

mothers, fathers, adolescents, self-perceptions of parenthood, parenting experience

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