The Features Of The Cognitive Image Of Fatherhood Among Student’s Youth

Abstract

The relevance of the study is determined by the need to create a system of measures for the formation of parental competence, effective models of paternal behavior, value-positive attitude towards fatherhood among students and an insufficient study of this phenomenon from a psychological point of view. The theoretical analysis of the study of the problem of fatherhood in psychological science, the question of the formation of ideas about parenthood, psychological readiness for fatherhood in adolescence and early adulthood are shown here. The presented empirical study, which aims to identify the structural and content characteristics of the cognitive image of fatherhood among young men and women, describes the methods and results. The study involved 1109 students, where there are 420 young men and 689 young women. It is established that the content and hierarchical structure of qualities in the image of an ideal father are determined by the gender of respondents. Student’s youth in the idea of an ideal father focuses on the image of his own father. Among young men there is a discrepancy in the content-structural characteristics of the images of an ideal father and “I am a future father”. The obtained results complement the concept of fatherhood and allow to determine corrective measures for prevention of misalignment of the views of young men and women, discrepancies in role expectations, the formation of an adequate and realistic images of fatherhood in the conditions of the educational environment of the University.

Keywords: Parentingfatherhoodstudent’s youth

Introduction

For modern society, the problems of parenthood, motherhood and fatherhood are among the most relevant and socially important. In the context of the transformation of the traditional family, redistribution of marital responsibilities, instability of marriage, reducing fertility, the spread of delayed childbirth, deviant parenthood, childfree, social orphan hood, the importance of finding the causes of these phenomena and strategies to overcome them. The fatherhood phenomenon belongs to the low-studied questions of psychology of a family. In modern society the institute of fatherhood is a subject for a significant change.  As a result of the transition from patriarchal to democratic society, the weakening of family values and changes in functional and family roles, gradually changing the perception in society about the functions of the father in the family, the models of paternal behavior. Kon (2009) considers the crisis of fatherhood in three autonomous contexts as: 1) crisis of the family; 2) crisis of masculinity; 3) crisis of power. In this regard, modern researchers are faced with the important task of finding the conceptual foundations of the psychology of fatherhood, the definition of effective models of paternal behavior and vectors of formation of parental competence, constructive strategies of fatherhood.

Each generation demonstrates its own image of an ideal fatherhood (Romanova, 2015). Since meaningful ideas about an ideal fatherhood are formed not at once, but for a long time, long before a real fatherhood, and they are means of orientation in the performance of the father's role, it is necessary to identify the hierarchical structure of qualities in the image of an ideal father in modern youth, as well as the possible impact of sexual differences on these ideas.

Problem Statement

Currently, there is an undoubted increase in research on the psychological aspects of fatherhood. There are several areas of the study of fatherhood as a socio-psychological phenomenon.

1. The study of the role of father in the development and upbringing of child is actively implemented in domestic and foreign psychology. There are established the influence of father on the process of separation of child from mother, cognitive development of children and school performance, social competence and sociometric status of child in the group of peers, emotional well-being of child (Kalina & Kholmogorova, 2011). There is revealed the relationship between the image of father and the formation of gender identity in adolescence (Sadovnikova, 2017; Arkhireeva, 2015). Borisenko (2018a) shows that the involvement or non-involvement of father in the life of his child determines the image of father, the vision of paternal functions and the value component of fatherhood in a preschool child.

2. The study of gender aspects of parenthood. There were revealed differences in the motivational needs, behavioral and functional spheres of motherhood and fatherhood (Belogay, 2004). Differences of the qualities of the father's and mother's attitude are established: if the father's attitude is characterized by emotional distancing and orientation towards instrumental functions (manifestation of rigor, control or cooperation), then the mother's attitude is based on the emotional-sensual sphere (Zinovieva, Kazantseva, Pleshkova, & Kostromina, 2018). Karabanova (2015) claims that fathers are capable of effective and sensitive parenting, as well as mothers.

3. The study of influence of fatherhood on the development of men's personality. Zakharova (2015) believes that a parental sphere of activity acquires a special developmental potential, the situation of the birth of child and his education creates conditions for the adoption of the internal position of parent, the formation of which opens the way to the transformation of the personality structure, changes in the motivational sphere, value orientations and self-consciousness of adult. We discovered the existence of contradictions in the gender identity of men and his views on fatherhood (Pleck, 2010; Kletsina & Chikalova, 2013; Urusova, 2015). As it is noted by Zavgorodnyaya (2017), the transition to fatherhood is a personal crisis for a man, which acts as a powerful stimulus for his development, affects his value orientations, worldview, self – concept, self-esteem, requires acceptance and control of his feelings, promotes adulthood.

4. The identification of the content-structural characteristics of the image of an ideal father and ideas about fatherhood. The idea of parenting is formed long before the beginning of the development of a social role of father or mother, become an indicative basis for the implementation of a new parental sphere of activity (Zakharova, 2012). There are differences about fatherhood in the views among young men and women (Vagapova, 2015). Young men consider the most important components in the structure of ideas about fatherhood – the manifestation of a protective function, material support for the family, followed by participation in the birth and upbringing of child, the manifestation of diligence for the family, building and maintaining positive relations with the child, responsibility. Young women consider the most important component of diligence for their family, less important components are the manifestation of the protection of their family, building a positive relationship with child, the material support of family, in the last place there is the manifestation of responsibility, participation in the birth and upbringing of child. Ideas of fatherhood due to the type of family self-determination of young men and women (Merzlyakova & Bibarsova, 2018). There are revealed the features of representations about the marriage partner among modern young women: significant characteristics are realization of social activity, existence of external appeal, performance of economic and household functions, the smallest role is given to emotionally-psychotherapeutic, parent-educational, intimate and sexual opportunities of the future husband (Berezhnaya & Lukyanenko, 2016). Romanova (2015) examined the problematic aspects of the idea of a perfect father among men with children.

5. The subject of special studies was the question of the determinants of fatherhood, the study of factors and conditions that determine the strategy of fatherhood. Karabanova and Molchanov, (2017) analyzed the social, family and psychological factors of formation of parental attitudes at the stage of entry into adulthood. It was shown that the formation of value-positive attitude towards parenting is influenced by emotional relationships in the parent family. Borisenko (2018b) distinguishes different types of fatherhood of male-fathers with different severity of gender qualities in the period of early and middle adulthood. Pavlov (2008) identified cultural, historical and social factors influencing the establishment of fatherhood: 1) type of family, characteristic of this particular culture or stage of development of a particular society; 2) beliefs of the people, their mythology and religion; 3) economic conditions (income level, economic stability, unemployment); 4) social stereotypes of masculinity and femininity, fatherhood and motherhood characteristic of the society; 5) relationship of a man with his own family - his parents, wife, child; 6) identity of child (gender, age, characteristics of development and behavior). Borisenko and Portnova (2006) classify all factors influencing the formation of the father's role, the following groups: 1) factors related to the relationship in the marital dyad; 2) factors related to the influence of child’s mother (man’s wife) on the formation of men in the role of father; 3) environmental factors; 4) factors related to the personality of child.

6. The development of technologies of social, psychological and pedagogical support of the formation of conscious fatherhood among men. One of the directions is to work with young men in order to form a psychological readiness for fatherhood, value-positive attitude towards the role of the father in teenage and adolescence. Shukshina and Isaikina (2017) propose to prepare modern young people for family life at the lessons "Moral Foundations of Family Life for the 10th – 11th Forms". Training work with young men aimed at the formation of responsible fatherhood is effective and has a long-term positive effect (Borisenko, 2017). The cognitive (knowledge and understanding of the functions of father, the specificity of the notion of "fatherhood", the awareness of effective models of his father's behavior), value-emotional (positive attitude towards future children, the presence of high values of child and fatherhood compared to other terminal values), behavioral (skills education and training in accordance with the age characteristics of child, appropriate the style of his father's relationship and interaction with child, empathy) components of fatherhood are formed among students in the framework of the discipline "Psychology of Family Self-determination" (Merzlyakova & Golubeva, 2018).

Resolution of the contradiction between the need of modern society in the formation of parental competence, effective models of paternal behavior, value-positive attitude towards fatherhood among young people and the need to study fatherhood as a socio-psychological phenomenon determines the problem of research.

Research Questions

Today the following issues remain unresolved.

3.1. Do the content-structural characteristics of the cognitive image of fatherhood coincide among young men and women?

3.2. Are there any differences in the content and hierarchical structure of the images of an ideal father and “I am a future father” among young men?

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to identify the content-structural characteristics of the cognitive image of fatherhood among young men and women. We hypothesized that the structural and content characteristics of the cognitive image of fatherhood are determined by the gender of the respondent. In accordance with the goal and the proposed hypothesis, we conducted a study aimed at solving the following problems.

4.1. To reveal the content-structural characteristics of the cognitive image of fatherhood (an ideal father, I am a future father) among young men.

4.2. To determine the content-structural characteristics of the cognitive image of fatherhood (an ideal father) among young women.

The research was conducted on the basis of the Astrakhan State University, Astrakhan Branch of Russian Academy of National Economy and State Service under the President of the Russian Federation, Branch of Russian State University for the Humanities in Astrakhan, Astrakhan State Polytechnic College, Astrakhan College of Computing Technology. The research involved 1109 students aged 15 to 22 years. Of these, 420 young men and 689 young women.

Research Methods

In order to achieve the objectives and to test the hypothesis we used a set of complementary research methods.

5.1. To diagnose the structural and content characteristics of the cognitive image of motherhood, the following psycho diagnostic methods were used: the method of semantic differential developed by Ch. Osgood, the projective technique "Incomplete Sentences", the questionnaire "Role Expectations and Claims in Marriage" A. N. Volkova.

5.2. Methods of applied statistics were used for the analytical stage: Kolmogorov-Smirnov criterion for one sample, correlation analysis (Spearman rank correlation).

Findings

The study of the features of the cognitive image of fatherhood among young men

In the group of young men using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov criterion for one sample we checked the normality of the distribution of quantitative variables. As a result of the calculation of the Spearman's rank correlation, we revealed the content-structural characteristics of the cognitive image of fatherhood among young men (see table 1 ). There is the following hierarchy of qualities in the image of a perfect father: 1) diligence, 2) installing an active parental position, 3) respect for others, 4) industry, 5) personal independence, 6) balance, 7) responsibilities 8) empathy, 9) success 10) patience 11) responsibility. A positive correlation coefficient among young men means that the image of father is inextricably linked to the formation of ideas about an ideal father and the image of “I am a future father”.

Table 1 -
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Among young men there is a discrepancy in the content-structural characteristics of the images of an ideal father and “I am a future father”. The image of “I am a future father” has the following hierarchical structure: 1) setting the importance of external social activity (professional, social), 2) diligence, 3) respect for other people, 4) balance, 5) industry, 6) success, 7) responsibility, 8) personal independence, 9) performance of duties, 10) empathy, 11) patience, 12) positive attitude towards the rights and duties of spouses. In the image of “I am a future father”, the importance of responsibility, balance, success increases, the role of fulfillment of duties, personal independence, empathy decreases. If the image of an ideal father includes the installation of an active position in the parental and educational sphere, the image of “I am a future father” reflects the installation of the importance of activity in the social sphere (professional, social), a positive attitude towards the rights and duties of spouses.

The study of the features of the cognitive image of fatherhood among young women

Similarly, we have identified content-structural characteristics of the cognitive image of an ideal father among young women (table 2 ). In the cognitive image of an ideal father, the following hierarchy of qualities is observed: 1) diligence, 2) personal independence, 3) respect for other people, 4) industry, 5) performance of duties, 6) balance, 7) success, 8) patience, 9) responsibility, 10) empathy. A positive correlation indicates that young women's ideas about an ideal father are inextricably linked with the image of their own father.

Table 2 -
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Conclusion

Summarizing the results of theoretical and empirical research aimed at identifying the features of the cognitive image of fatherhood among young women and men, we can draw the following conclusions. The cognitive image of an ideal father among young men and women differs in its content-structural characteristics. Both young men and women consider diligence, respect for other people, industry to be important qualities of fatherhood. The young men noted the installation on their own active parental position, the importance of the ability to empathize, sympathize. For young women, there are more important qualities as personal independence, performance of duties, patience, responsibility. Among young men there is a discrepancy in the content-structural characteristics of the images of an ideal father and “I am a future father”. If the image of an ideal father includes the installation of an active position in the parental and educational sphere, the image of “I am a future father” reflects the installation of the importance of activity in the social sphere (professional, social), a positive attitude towards the rights and duties of spouses. The importance of responsibility, balance, success increases, the role of fulfillment of duties, personal independence, empathy decreases in the image of “I am a future father”. Student’s youth focuses on their father in the formation of ideas about an ideal father. The image of the father contributes to the formation of young men's own ideas “I am a future father”. The results of empirical research aimed at identifying the content-structural structure of the image of an ideal father of modern students, complement the concept of fatherhood, allow to determine corrective measures to prevent mismatch representations of young men and women, mismatch role expectations, the formation of adequate and realistic images of fatherhood in the educational environment of the university.

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2019.12.02.25

Online ISSN

2357-1330