Socio-demographic Correlates of Fathers' and Mothers’ Parenting Behaviors

Jacobien Van Holland De Graaf, M.J.M. Hoogenboom, Simone de Roos, Freek Bucx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the present study, we investigated whether fathers’ and mothers’ parenting behavior is differentially related to parental factors (such as age and employment), child factors (age and gender) as well as social support. Parents reported on their use of a broad range of parenting behaviors, including affection, responsivity, explaining, autonomy, support, rewarding, and punishing. We used survey data from the Netherlands for 1197 mothers and 903 fathers of children aged 2 to 17. Seemingly unrelated regression analyses were conducted to combine the regression results on the separate subsamples (fathers and mothers) and to test for differences in the coefficients between those subsamples. Our expectation that the parenting behavior of fathers is more dependent on parents’ characteristics, children’s characteristics, and social support than that of mothers was only partly confirmed by the results of our analysis. In general, our results suggest that fathers’ parenting behaviors seem to be associated with parental and child characteristics and contextual factors in ways that are similar to how these factors are associated with mothers’ parenting behaviors. Results are discussed in relation to the roles and expectations associated with motherhood and fatherhood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2315-2327
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Parenting behavior; Support; Control; Fathers; Mothers


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