The role of the father in early family interactions.

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    • Abstract:
      This study investigated the influence of fathers on early triadic family interactions including transgenerational, representational, and interactional dimensions. A prospective longitudinal study was conducted with a nonclinical sample of parents, beginning with their pregnancy, and their firstborn infants. This paper reports the results of the first part of the study that extended to the infant's fourth month of life. The parents' subjective views about their parenthood and the unborn child were systematically analyzed during pregnancy, focusing on the importance of fathers for the development of the infant and the family as anticipated in the parental fantasies. These representational dimensions were compared with the quality of dyadic and triadic parent–child interactions observed after the child was born. There was a significant correlation between the triadic level of mothers' and fathers' representations and the qualities of dyadic father–infant interactions as well as the qualities of triadic family interactions. A specific and significant correlation was found between aspects of the father's representational world and the 4-month-old infant's capacity to get into a well-balanced contact with both parents in a triadic interactional setting. © 1999 Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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