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Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto)

Print version ISSN 0103-863X

Abstract

BANDEIRA, Tatiana Targino Alves  and  SEIDL-DE-MOURA, Maria Lucia. Mothers and fathers' beliefs about parental investment. Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto) [online]. 2012, vol.22, n.53, pp.355-363. ISSN 0103-863X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-863X2012000300007.

Parental investment increases the chance of babies' survival and ensures parents' fitness. While adaptive, it does not occur automatically and takes various forms, according to the context. Parental beliefs are part of those contexts and this study aims to investigate how parents consider parental investment and their investment practices in their children. Fifty men and 50 women with children up to six years of age answered two open questions about their conception of investment and their practices. The answers were classified as financial investment, emotional, basic care, intellectual, social-spiritual and family-individual. Men and women indicated that they most value and practice emotional investment. In general, mothers reported more investment than fathers, especially with regard to basic care. There were some inconsistencies between reported beliefs and practices. These results may contribute to the study of beliefs and parental investment, especially in relation to fathers who are not always included in these studies.

Keywords : childrearing practices; parent child relations; motherhood; fatherhood.

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