14 SES 04 A, Parent Engagement in Schools and Communities
The current European decreasing rate of birth, the women involvement in the labor market, and the changing social values all over the world, are greatly affecting both the structure of the family and how its members interact with each other in most European countries (Daly, 2007; Molinuevo, 2013). At present, many parents feel they do not have many opportunities to interact with their children, especially with adolescents ones, and see how their parenting methods are not always effective today. This has evidence in their requests for advice in their children’s schools, in the social services or in other related entities (Martínez-González, 2009). At an European level, the Council of Europe Recommendation (2006/19) on Policies to Promote Positive Parenting states that all the necessary measures should be adopted for supporting parenting. On this regard, the theory of Positive Youth Development (PYD) (Lerner et al., 2005), state that the quality of the parent-adolescent relationship is conditioned, among other factors, by parenting competences; that is, the combination of the parenting skills, abilities and attitudes to educate children according to the latter's needs, their developmental stage and their family circumstances (Masten & Curtis, 2000; Waters & Sroufe, 1983). Parenting competences allow adults to organize family life, develop positive educational styles and promote the full development of their children (Author, 2009; Ponzetti, 2016; Rodrigo et al., 2015). Bonds, et al. (2002) point out that maintaining a positive educational style is conditioned, among other factors, by the level of parental stress. Therefore, the ability to manage emotions constitutes a relevant parental competence, influencing the potential to promote personal skills in their children (Berger, Milicic, Alcalay, & Torretti, 2014). This might facilitate their schooling, academic achievement and the prevention of risk behaviors. On the other hand, the differential parental competences of fathers and mothers according to gender still deserves research (Gracia et al., 2014). Fletcher, Steinberg, & Sellers (1999) found that adolescents who had at least one parent with a democratic educational style showed greater personal and social adjustment than those who had none. Some studies confirm that the mother's style predicts the psychosocial adjustment of their children to a greater extent than the father's one, especially in the adolescent stage, due to its effects on improving emotional management (Laible & Caro, 2004; Sánchez, Fernández-Berrocal, Montañés, & Latorre, 2008). In this regard, this study is aimed at identifying gender differences in parental competencies of teenager’s fathers and mothers who live in the same family unit in order to control contextual differences to same extend.
The study involved 752 mothers and 670 fathers with teenagers selected at random from a population of 51936 families with adolescents aged between 12 and 18 years old in Asturias (Spain) (INEBase); a 5% error and a 99% confidence level was assumed. The Emotional and Social Parenting Competence Scale for Parents of Adolescents (ECOPES-A) was applied, consisting of 12 items with a Likert scale response of four alternatives (1Never to 4Always) (α = .714). The scale analyzes four factors: F1-Control and Relaxation (α = .80), F2-Self-Esteem (α = .70), F3-Imposition (α = .62), and F4-Communication (α = .63). Access to fathers and mothers was made through their children’s schools, which collaborated in distributing an envelope to the adolescent pupils. The envelope included an explanation of the research and two questionnaires, one for the father and one for the mother. Together with the quantitative scale items, qualitative information was asked in the questionnaires; however, due to space constrains its analysis will be not reported in this proposal. The quantitative data was analyzed with SPSS 22.0, considering gender means contrasts with Student's t. The effect size was estimated with Cohen's d (Cohen, 1973)
The results indicate significant differences in F4-Communication (p = .000, d = .46), detecting greater communication skills on the part of the mothers than of the fathers, with an average effect size. There are also differences in F1-Control and Relaxation (p = .000, d = .25), confirming greater emotional regulation in fathers than in mothers, with an average effect size. These gender differences may be due to the greater emotional involvement that mothers usually have in the upbringing and education of their children (Laible & Carlo, 2004); also they assume more tasks related to the functioning of the home (Smetana et al., 1990). These facts together can generate on them a high level of stress, which makes it more difficult for mothers to properly manage their emotions when interacting with their adolescents. From there, relevant implications are derived both for parental education considering gender differences, and for promoting co-responsibility between mothers and fathers when managing family tasks
Berger, C., Milicic, N., Alcalay, L. & Torretti, A. (2014). Programa para el Bienestar y Aprendizaje Socioemocional en estudiantes de tercero y cuarto grado: descripción y evaluación de impacto. Revista Latinoamericana de Psicolgía, 46(3), 169-177. Bonds, D. D., Gondoli, D. M., Sturge-Apple, M. L., & Salem, L. N. (2002). Parenting stress as a mediator of the relation between parenting support and optimal parenting. Parenting: Science and Practice, 2(4), 409 - 435. 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. Daly, M. (2007). Parenting in contemporary Europe: A positive approach. Strasbourg, France: Council of Europe Publishing. 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. Lerner, R. M., Lerner, J. V., Almerigi, J., & Theokas, C. (2005). Positive Youth Development: A view of the issues. Journal of Early Adolescence, 25, 10-16. Martínez-González, R. A. (2009). Program-Guide for the Development of Emotional, Educative and Parenting Competences. Madrid: Spanish Ministry for Health and Social Policy. Molinuevo, D. (2013). Parenting Support in Europe. Dublin: Eurofound. Smetana, J.G., Yau, J., Restrepo, A.M. y Braeges, J.L. (1990). Coordinations in adolescents’ and parents’ views of family conflict. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Adolescence, Atlanta
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