Kemerovo State University, Kemerovo, Russia
Background. In this article, we present the results of a study on the fathering characteristics of Russian men, in early and middle adulthood, brought up with and without a father. There is a theory that fathering practices are determined both by early childhood experiences, as well as by marital relationships in adulthood, because of the links between co-parenting and fathering. Thus, we hypothesize that the fathering characteristics of men in early and middle adulthood, brought up with and without a father, will be different.
Objective. We studied the characteristics of fathering and marital satisfaction in middle adulthood among Russian men brought up without a father, who suffered from paternal deprivation in childhood.
Design. Ninety married men (48 fathers who experienced paternal deprivation in childhood and 42 men brought up in two-parent families) were assessed on a number of measures.
Results. The statistical analysis of the data, including descriptive statistics, t-test and correlation analysis, let us distinguish between the two groups of fathers. Significant t-test differences between the two groups were found in caregiving identity, breadwinning identity, attitudes towards parenting, and marital satisfaction. Also, men brought up in paternally deprived homes, unlike the men from two-parent families, were more likely to indicate difficulties with father-child relationships and gender role conflict in parenting, and give greater relevance to their female partners’ attitudes and expectations towards their fathering.
Conclusion. The lack of a father’s influence on men in childhood strengthens the influence of marital relationships on fathering, in maturity.
Keywords: fathering, paternal deprivation, marital satisfaction, caregiving identity, breadwinning identity