Child rearing: Role perceptions and practices among single fathers of selected barangays at Roxas City
Defense Panel Chair
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This is a descriptive-corelational research which utilized a one-shot survey design to meet the objectives of the study. The study sought to determine the perception of roles and the practices in child rearing among single fathers of selected barangays in Roxas City. Specifically, it aimed to find out the characteristics of the single fathers according to age, marital status, educational attainment, employment status, family income, household size and age of children. It also determined the relationship of between these characteristics and their perceptions of their role and practices in child rearing and whether their perceptions have a bearing on their practices. The respondents selected for this study are the fathers who have children ages four to eighteen years old and are either unwed, married with migrant wives, widowed or separated. A total of one hundred and twenty eight single fathers were taken as respondents using total enumeration. A questionnaire was formulated and validated by experts and was used as a tool in the structured interview which was conducted among one hundred twenty eight single fathers who were qualified and taken by total enumeration. The gathered data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences PC software. Frequency distribution was used to describe the characteristics of the fathers as well as their perception of roles in child rearing and their child rearing practices. Chi-Square test and Gamma coefficients were used to determine the relationships between variables. Relationships were confirmed at a .05 level of significance. Major Findings of the Study The single fathers in this study were split between two age groups, namely 40 years old and above and below 40 years of age. A third of them were married (with migrant wives), while three out often were either widowed or separated. Only a few were unwed. Most of the respondents received elementary or high school level of education and were employed with a monthly family income of less than Php 5,000. A little over half of the single fathers had large household size, with five family members or more having adolescent and school age children. Most of the respondents perceived child rearing as a shared role of both father and mother. In terms of physical care of the child, they viewed it more as a mother's role, whereas, mental care was considered as the role of both parents, but a third of the respondents considered it as the father's role. Emotional care and spiritual care were also perceived as a cooperative task of both parents except for attending school programs or activities which was viewed more as the mother's than father’s role. On the other hand, a higher proportion of single fathers viewed it as the father's role against the mothers to "tell the child I love you" and to discipline the child. Food preparation and selection for the children were personally done by the single fathers. However, only a few of them assisted their children in school projects and even fewer admitted actually talking to the teacher about child's school performance. Nearly half of the respondents usually showed affection to their children through a hug, a kiss, a hold or a pat on the shoulder. A lesser proportion of them however, actually verbalized their affection or play and had recreational activities with their children. Nearly two-thirds of the single fathers reported as role modeling good manners such as saying "please" or "thank you" along with disciplining their children, however, only very few of them attended church or mass with their child. On the whole, the single fathers had poor to fair child rearing practices. The older respondents perceived child rearing as the mother's role, while the younger ones viewed it as the father's role. The married (with migrant wives) and separated respondents favored child rearing to be the father's role compared to the widowed or unwed who attributed it more as the mother's task. Similarly, unemployed fathers considered child rearing to be more of a father's role instead of the mothers, against the employed ones who viewed it otherwise. Although the general contention is that child rearing is the role of both parents, the mentioned characteristics of the single fathers were found to influence their perceptions when the father's and the mother's role are taken into consideration. Their educational attainment, family income, household size and age of children, on the other hand, were found to have no significant relationship with their perception of roles in child rearing. Among respondents with elementary level of education, nearly half were noted to have poor child rearing practices, whereas, fair practices were found among those with high school education, and good practices was evident among the college educated. As for the employed single fathers, fair to poor child rearing practices was notable among them compared to the unemployed who were found to have fair to good practices. As for their child rearing practices according to their children's age, significant relationship was found among single fathers with school age children with most of them having good practices compared to the single fathers who did not have children of school age. The respondents' educational attainment, employment status and age of children were therefore found to have significant on their child rearing practices. On the other hand, their age, marital status, family income and household size did not significantly influence their child rearing practices. A positive correlation was found between the single fathers' perception of roles and their child rearing practices. The single fathers who perceived it as their role to care for their child were noted to have good child rearing practices, while those who considered it as the mother's role demonstrated fair practices in child rearing. Conclusions Based on the findings of this study, it is safe to conclude that, single fathers are generally married. Most of them belonged to the lower income group and yet mostly employed. They have large households consisting mostly of school age and adolescent children. As far as perception of role is concerned, the single fathers in this study were held less traditional views about child rearing with most of them considering it as both the mother's and the father's responsibility. Despite their level of education and socioeconomic status, these fathers were aware of their significant role in their children's growth and development. However, there is still the perception that some tasks are gender specific such as the actual physical care of the child and attending school functions. As far as discipline and role modeling is concerned, the traditional views are upheld with the father considered as the dominant figure for this task. This is a good indication inasmuch as most of the children. Therefore, the respondents' educational attainment, employment status and age of children were found to have bearing on their child rearing practices. On the other hand, their age, marital status, family income and household size did not have any significant relationship with their child rearing practices. Positive correlation was found between the single fathers' perception of roles and their child rearing practices. The single fathers who perceive it as their role to care for their child were noted to have good child rearing practices while those who considered it as the mother's role demonstrated fair practices in child rearing. Conclusions The study revealed that the single fathers were mostly adults, either married (with migrant wives), separated or widowed, did not have any formal schooling, belonged to the lower income group strata and yet are mostly employed. They have large household size consisting mostly of school age and adolescent children. As far as perception of role is concerned, the single fathers in this study were holding the less traditional view about child rearing with most of them considering it as both the mother's and the father's responsibility. Despite their level of education and socioeconomic status, these fathers were aware of their significant role in their children's growth and development. However, there is still the perception that some tasks are gender specific such as the actual physical care of the child and attending school functions. As far as discipline and role modeling is concerned, the traditional view was upheld with the father considered as the dominant figure for this task. This is a good indication in as much as most of the children of these fathers were already adolescents and thus requiring proper guidance and discipline. The fact however that most of the single fathers had poor to fair child rearing practices indicate that they still need to get more involved with the actual care of their children and not just the activities which they believed belonged to them. Considering that educational attainment and employment status have a bearing on their practices, education and work role is considered an important aspect for good child rearing practices. When classified according to their perception of roles in child rearing, it was established that those who believe it as the father's role had better practices compared to those who considered child rearing as the mother’s responsibility. The findings showed that the single father's perception of roles do influence their practices. Recommendations Based on the conclusions arrived at, the researcher therefore highly recommends the following actions to be taken into consideration: 1. Whereas the single fathers' perception of role about child rearing is more as a shared responsibility of both the father and the mother and taking into consideration that they are actually rearing the child without the presence of the mother, there is a need for perception modification in relation to certain child rearing tasks that were deemed as gender specific by some of these fathers considering that their perceptions were deemed to influence their child rearing practices as well. Particularly tasks such as assisting their children in school projects, attending school functions or communicating with their children's teachers with regards to their school performance, as well as providing emotional care in terms of actual verbalization of affection and playing with their children should be given more emphasis inasmuch as these tasks were reported low in their child rearing practices. 2. Fatherhood education program should be implemented by the local government units going down to the barangay level focusing not only on single fathers but on all fathers in general inasmuch as this part of the family seemed to be neglected and yet has significant impact on the growth and development of the child. Trainings and workshops should include value of emotional care to the child as well as spiritual care, particularly bringing the child to church or mass. Training should also include specific child care activities for different child age group inasmuch as significant difference had been noted among practices of fathers with regards to different age group of children. 3. Support group formation should be spearheaded by either the church or local government units in collaboration with private sector to provide educational and emotional support to single fathers. This organization should hold regular meetings with the members providing venue for discussion of their concerns, problems or any matter affecting their child rearing practices. It will also serve as a hotline for fathers who need assistance anytime when they meet any urgent dilemma related to their child. Guidance counselors, spiritual advisers, family physicians, nurses, pediatricians, and professionals specializing in maternal and child care are the ones who have an important role in this venture. 4. The media must take an active role in the public orientation about the plight of the single fathers with emphasis on the importance of their role in caring for their children. Education focused on proper time management balancing work and family time should be given importance. Quality time should be encouraged despite the oftentimes hectic work since they are responsible for the family without the presence of the mother. Cooperative relationship must be developed between the fathers, the children and significant others. 5. Fatherhood training program should be implemented among adolescent male students since early education is considered best in developing healthy perceptions and proper practices in relation to child rearing responsibilities. It is best to prepare the young members of the society before they create their own family to ensure that proper practices will be done in relation to child care. 6. In depth study of actual concerns of single fathers such as barriers of good child rearing practices, other possible factors that may influence their perceptions other than those included in the study should be done to further quantify the findings of this study. Qualitative study may yield significant information but quantitative study is highly recommended to further identify existing problems that these fathers are encountering in their task of rearing their child alone and assuming the role of both mother and father.
Talabucon, C. P. (2009). Child rearing: Role perceptions and practices among single fathers of selected barangays at Roxas City (Unpublished Master's thesis). Central Philippine University, Jaro, Iloilo City.
DepartmentSchool of Graduate Studies
DegreeMaster of Arts in Nursing
GSL Theses 610.73072 T14
xx, 77 leaves
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