14 SES 07 A, Parenthood, Parental Involvement and Parenting Competences
Adolescence is a human developmental stage in which relevant biological, cognitive and socio-emotional changes take place (Santrock, 2013). It is also a stage of great susceptibility to social influences, increased nowadays by the information and communication technologies (Bacigalupe & Cámara, 2011). Like any vital transition, adolescence entails difficulties and risks, such as emotional instability and family conflicts, which are not necessarily problematic. The theory of Positive Youth Development (Benson et al., 2006), understands these risks as opportunities to acquire new skills and maturity. Parent-child relationships change progressively from being asymmetric and controlled by the parental authority in childhood, to tend to being more symmetric in the adolescence period (Laursen & Collins, 2004). They can also, however, be more conflictive due to, among other factors, the adolescents need to emotionally disengage from their parents to empower their own identity, and their tendency to question family norms (Rodríguez-Ruiz & Rodrigo, 2011). Despite this, the family is still their main reference context, which contributes to their positive development (Oliva et al., 2008).Being the parent of an adolescent might be self-perceived as more complicated than performing this role with younger children; this is confirmed by the increasing parents’ requests for advice in schools, social and health services (Martínez-González et al., 2007; Martínez-González, 2009). On a European basis, the Council of Europe Recommendation 2006/19 on Policies to Support Positive Parenting invites European governments to introduce measures to help parents to perform their parenting role effectively, avoiding any kind of violence or abuse of children in the family context, as stated in 1989 by the Convention on the Rights of the Child of The United Nations. This Recommendation highlights the convenience to assess parenting competences needs, in order to introduce psycho-socio-educational measures to improve family coexistence (Iglesias-Garcia et al., 2015). Parenting competences are defined by Waters and Sroufe (1983), and Masten and Curtis (2000) as the set of skills, abilities and attitudes that parents put into practice according to the needs and characteristics of their children, their developmental stage and family circumstances. The differences in the educational style of both father and mother when interacting with their adolescent children has not been investigated in deep yet; research on the matter focuses usually on analysing the degree of agreement in the couple. Some studies confirm that the mother's style predicts children’s psychosocial and personal adjustment to a greater extent than that of the father’s, especially in the adolescent stage (Laible & Caro, 2004). When taking into account the children’s vision, results show that they consider their mothers are more involved in their care and upbringing (Laible & Caro, 2004) than their fathers do; indicating as well mothers show a more democratic educational style; this is associated to less family conflicts (Rodríguez-Ruiz & Rodrigo, 2011), greater affectivity (Martínez-González et al., 2007), but also more defined patterns of discipline. The complexity of the adolescence stage and the diversity of parental competences, highlights the need to analyse the emotional, educational and parenting competences of both fathers and mothers, taking into account potential differences associated to gender, age and educational level. In order to do that, validated measurement tools are needed to gather information. This study focuses in reaching such objectives: 1) providing a parenting competence tool for parents of adolescent children, and 2) comparing parenting competences according to parents' gender.
Participants 752Spanish families of teenagers attending both compulsory secondary school (12-16 years old) (64.8%) and high school or higher vocational training (17-18 years old) (35.2%) took part in this study. These adolescents were enrolled in state (71.3%), semi-state (16.8%) and private schools (11.9%), placed in both rural (36.1%) and urban areas (63.9%) in the region of Asturias (North of Spain). Both father (n=670) and mother (n=752) of the same family unit participated in the study (n=1422 all together). Research Instrument and data analysis The Emotional Parenting Competence Scale for Parents with Adolescents (ESPC-A) was used to gather information. This scale is a short version of the Questionnaire on Parenting Competences included in the Program-Guide to Develop Emotional, Educational and Parenting Competences published by the Spanish Ministry of Health and Social Policy (Martínez-González, 2009).The Classic Test Theory (CTT) (Muñiz, 2005) was used to check the scale structure or construct validity, and exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory factor (CFA) analysis were performed randomly dividing the original sample into two subsamples with 696 and 726 participants each. The Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) selected twelve items distributed into four factors of three items each, which together explained 46.26% of the variance (KMO = .739 was acceptable; Kaiser, 1974); Bartlett’s sphericity test significant (2 = 1982.029; g. l. = 66; p = .000). The factors selected were: F1–Self-Regulation (SR), F2–Assertiveness in the Parenting Role (APR), F3 – Imposition (I) and F4 – Promotion of Children’s Self-Esteem (PCSE). The Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) showed good adjustment of the proposed model (χ2 = 109.359 (48), p < .000; CMIN/DF = 2.278; GFI = .976; TLI = .960; CFI = .971; RMSEA = .042; SRMR = .039). Factor values found in each factor were statistically significant (p < .01) with standardized values above 0.40.The reliability of the whole scale, calculated through the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was .714; as for the selected factors: F1 –Self-Regulation (SR) = .808; F2–Assertiveness in the Parenting Role (APR) = .703; F3– Imposition (I) = .625 and F4 –Promotion of Children’s Self-Esteem (PCSE) = .638.Mean contrasts were performed with these factors according to parents' gender (mother or father) through Student's t; the effect size was calculated with Cohen's d.
In general, both fathers and mothers perceive themselves as assertive parents (around 80%), showing adequate communication with their children (percentages between 63% and 84%). However, they also admit imposition attitudes (close to 50%) and lack of emotional control (around 40% state they are not always able to relax and control themselves). Comparisons according parents' gender (mother or father) indicate there are significant differences in: 1) Factor 1-"Self-Regulation (SR)" (n = 1422, t = 4,712, p = 0.000, d = 0.25), confirming greater self-emotional control on the part of the fathers than on the part of the mothers, and 2) Factor 4-"Promotion of Children's Self-Esteem (PCSE)" (n = 1422, t = -6.303, p = 0.000, d = 0.46), indicating that the mothers are more competent to enhance their children's assertiveness than the fathers, specially through communication skills. These results are in line with other obtained in previous research (Rodrigo et al., 2008) pointing to the need to design parenting programs for families with adolescent children in order to support them to enhance their parenting competences in this developmental stage (Oliva et al., 2008).
Bacigalupe, G., & Cámara, M. (2011). Adolescentes digitales: el rol transformador de las redes sociales y las interacciones virtuales. En R. Pereira (Comp.), Adolescentes en el siglo XXI. Entre impotencia, resiliencia y poder (pp. 227-244). Madrid: Morata. Benson, P. L., Scales, P. C., Hamilton, S. F., & Sesma, A., Jr. (2006). Positive Youth Development: Theory, Research, and Applications. In R. M. Lerner, & W. Damon (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Theoretical models of human development (pp. 894-941). Hoboken, NJ, US: John Wiley, & Sons Inc. Council of Europe. (2006). Recommendation (2006)19 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on Policy to Support Positive Parenting. Explanatory Report. Strasburg: Council of Europe. Iglesias-García, M. T., Pérez-Herrero, M. H., & Martínez-González. R. A. (2015). Validación de un cuestionario de parentalidad positiva para padres y madres de hijos/as adolescentes. Investigar con y para la sociedad, 1, 91-102. Laible, D.J. y Caro, G. (2004). The differential relations of maternal and paternal support and control to adolescence social competence, self-worth, and sympathy. Journal of Adolescent Research, 19, 759-782 Laursen, B., & Collins, W. A. (2004). Parent–child communication during adolescence. En Vangelisti A. L, (Ed.), Handbook of family communication (pp. 333–348). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Martínez-González, R. A. (2009). Programa-Guía para el Desarrollo de Competencias Emocioanles, Educativas y Parentales. Madrid: Ministerio de Sanidad y Política Social. Martínez González, R. A., Pérez Herrero, M. H., & Álvarez Blanco, L. (2007). Estrategias para prevenir y afrontar conflictos en las relaciones familiares (padres e hijos). Madrid: Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales. Colección Observatorio de Infancia. Masten, A. S., & Curtis, W. J. (2000). Integrating competence and psychopathology: Pathways toward a comprehensive science of adaption in development. Development and Psychopathology, 12, 529-550. Muñiz, J. (2005). Classical test models. In B. S. Everitt, & D. C. Howell (Eds.), Encyclopedia of statistics in behavioral science (Vol. 1, pp. 278–282). Chichester: John Wiley&Sons Ltd. Oliva, A., Hernando, A., Parra, A., Pertegal, M. A., Ríos, M., & Antolín, L. (2008). La promoción del desarrollo adolescente: recursos y estrategias de intervención. Sevilla: Consejería de Salud. Rodríguez-Ruiz, B., & Rodrigo, M. J. (2011). El nido repleto: la resolución de conflictos familiares cuando los hijos mayores se quedan en el hogar. Cultura y educación, 23(1), 89-104. Santrock, J. W. (2013). Life Span Development. New York: McGraw-Hill. Waters, E., & Sroufe, L. A. (1983). Social competence as a developmental construct. Developmental Review, 3, 79-97.
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