In dual-earner families the balance between work and family demands facilitates the development of guilt feelings when parents perceive a non-fulfillment of their responsibilities in childcare. Specifically, women who aspire to personal and professional development on the basis of more egalitarian gender role models must deal with the traditional stereotypes that maintain an intensive maternity mandate that prioritizes the family. On the other hand, for men the role change is primarily in the family setting with the development of a new father role more involved in the care of their children, which is not easily compatible with the more traditional breadwinner role. This study explored the feelings of guilt about parenting in 251 employed Spanish parents with children between 3 and 6 years of age, through the Scale of Guilt Feelings about Parenting, and its relationship with traditional stereotypes of maternal and family role. The scale addresses diverse situations pertaining to child rearing in which work requirements do not allow parents full availability for the care of their children. This availability is present in the model of intensive maternity and in the new father role model. Results indicate the presence of similar and high levels of guilt in fathers and mothers, although in men guilt is related to a non-traditional family role ideology, whereas in women guilt is related to a more traditional maternal role stereotype.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 6, 2011
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