Perceptions of paternal involvement with preschoolers in Korean families: Relationships to teachers' assessments of children's social skills

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Child and Family Studies


Jaipaul L. Roopnarine


Paternal involvement, Preschoolers, Families, Social skills, Korea, Child care, Household chores

Subject Categories

Family, Life Course, and Society


Using cultural ecological frameworks and identity theory, this study attempted to profile levels and quality of father involvement with preschool-aged children in contemporary, two-parent Korean families and to assess relationships between (a) parents' perceptions of fathers' child-care competence and role in child development, (b) paternal involvement (quantity of paternal involvement and degree of paternal responsibility) with respect to various child-care and household activities, and (c) children's social skills, as measured by teacher-assigned scores on the Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scale. The sample for this study consisted of 415 pairs of mothers and fathers and 56 teachers of 3- to-6-year-old children. Parents completed a series of questionnaires assessing time investment in child-care and household activities, quantity of parental involvement and degree of parental responsibility, parental perceptions of the father's competence in child care and father's role in child development. Teachers provided assessments of children's general social skills in preschool settings. Korean mothers in this study estimated spending more time in most child-care and household activities during weekdays and weekends, invested more time in and assumed more responsibility for child care than fathers did. A series of hierarchical regression analyses revealed that fathers' perceptions were the most significant predictors of quantity of paternal involvement and degree of paternal responsibility. This study found no significant relationship between paternal involvement and children's social skills. Findings are discussed in the context of cultural beliefs about gender-role differentiation in early child care in two-parent Korean families in a rapidly changing Korean society.


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