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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


BRAZ, Marcela Pereira; DESSEN, Maria Auxiliadora  and  SILVA, Nara Liana Pereira. Marital and parental relationships: a comparison of middle and working class families. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2005, vol.18, n.2, pp.151-161. ISSN 0102-7972.

It is important to study the interrelatedness between marital and parental relationships in order to understand children's social adjustment and development. Therefore, this study aims to describe aspects of the quality of marital and parental relationships from Brazilian working and middle class families. Fourteen families consisting of father, mother, and target preschool children at the age of 4-5 years were selected to participate in this study. A questionnaire on social-demographic data, family structure, lifestyles, and division of home tasks was answered by mothers. A semi-structured interview was conducted with mothers and fathers, separately, including questions on marital satisfaction, conflict, coalition, values and beliefs on marriage and parenting, and their influence on parents-child interactions. The results indicate that a good marital relationship fosters sharing domestic tasks and childrearing practices between wives and husbands and promotes the development of security feelings in their children. The discussion is based on the differences between working and middle class families in terms of mutual influences between both kinds of relationships.

Keywords : Marital relationships; parental relationships; preschool children; family.

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