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When parents give up: investigating the relationship between the quality of father involvement and parental burnout

Grant number: 18/23471-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2019
Effective date (End): March 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Human Development Psychology
Principal Investigator:Elizabeth Joan Barham
Grantee:Julia Floriano Zafalon
Host Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Father involvement is a multidimensional construct that refers to the activities undertaken by fathers, in favor of their children. This involvement contributes to children learning important skills, as well as to the wellbeing of the children, the mothers and the fathers. Every parent feels stress when dealing with the responsibilities of raising a child, but for some parents, chronic high-level stress may trigger a process of psychological detachment, known as parental burnout. This syndrome involves three dimensions: parental-role exhaustion, sense of inefficacy with respect to parenting abilities, and emotional distancing. Fathers who suffer from parental exhaustion are more likely to have low-quality father involvement, which is associated with higher rates of child behavior problems. Thus, the objective of this study is to describe levels of father involvement and parental burnout, and to analyze the relationship between these constructs as a means of gaining evidence for the validity of the Parental Burnout Inventory, for use in Brazil. As such, the Parental Burnout Inventory and the Inventory of Father Involvement (IFI-BR) will be used with 70 fathers, who live with their pre-school or elementary school-aged children. After examining the results of descriptive analyses for the scores for each of the subscales of each instrument (mean, standard deviation, maximum and minimum scores, kurtosis and asymmetry), the strength and form (linear or curvilinear) of the relationship between these constructs will be examined. If a significant relationship is found, this will point to the importance of conducting studies to verify how to avoid increasing perceptions of parental burnout when trying to improve the quality of paternal involvement.

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