Brazilian families: Parental involvement with children and beliefs about family organization

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Child and Family Studies


Jaipaul Roopnarine


Brazilian, Children, Family, Parental involvement

Subject Categories

Developmental Psychology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


The present study examined different components of parental involvement in a group of Southern Brazilian families. The theoretical tenets guiding this investigation consider human practices as resulting from different factors, such as the physical and social settings of the environment, the cultural patterns of the society and the individuals own psychological characteristics (Super & Harkness, 1996). The areas investigated were (a) the different domains of father-child relationships in relation to mothers; (b) parental beliefs about family organization; (c) the quality of parent-child relationships; and (d) links between parental assessment of childhood personality and parental involvement with children.

Thirty-eight mothers and thirty-eight fathers with children between the ages of 6-10 years were recruited from 2 schools in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Each mother and father filled out the Parent-Child Interaction Scale, a Parental Beliefs Scale about family ideology, open-ended questions about family organization and child development, and a sociodemographic questionnaire.

There were no gender of parent differences in time spent in childcare. Women, though, were more involved in household chores. There were significant gender of parent differences in parents' assessments of their level of engagement with children with mothers more involved in didactic activities, discipline, and responsibility.

In relation to parental satisfaction, both mothers and fathers indicated similar levels of satisfaction and efficacy. For fathers only, a sense of efficiency was important to higher levels of involvement Egalitarian parents were more satisfied with parenting than traditional ones.

Parental competence and satisfaction affected parental involvement. More satisfied mothers engaged in more didactic and social activities, were more available to children, and less likely to engage in discipline. More satisfied fathers were more available to their children.

The association between parental satisfaction (mother role model, efficacy, father role model, satisfaction) and parental involvement indicated that satisfaction was the only measure to significantly predict parental involvement for both parents.

Finally, the relationship between parental involvement and assessment of children's personality showed that the more involved parents were the more likely they were to view their children as socially competent.


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