Emerging Bicultural Views of Fatherhood
Perspectives of Puerto Rican Fathers
Puerto Rican fathers remain an understudied population despite the growing Latino community in the U.S. Understanding how Puerto Rican fathers perceive their roles as fathers can inform our conceptualization of their engagement with children as well as the development of culturally-specific parenting interventions. In this qualitative study, focus groups were conducted with Puerto Rican men to identify their perceptions of their role as a father and how individual, child, and cultural influences may relate to these roles. Parenting roles identified by fathers in the study were: being there, maintaining open communication, building confidence, preparing for adulthood, teaching culture/values, and providing a role model for their children. The study also explored father and child characteristics, history with their own father, and a hybrid cultural perspective as influences on Puerto Rican fathers’ perceptions of their parenting roles. Due to the increasing population of Puerto Rican and other Latino sub-groups, providers and social workers working with Puerto Rican families should understanding the perceived parenting roles within families to better engage and support fathers and families within this growing population.
Ashbourne, L. M., Daly, K. J., & Brown, J. L. (2011). Responsiveness in father-child relationships: The experience of fathers. Fathering, 9(1) 69-86.
Boyd, K., Ashcraft, A., & Belgrave, F. Z. (2006). The impact of mother-daughter and father-daughter relationships on drug refusal self-efficacy among African American adolescent girls in urban communities. Journal of Black Psychology, 32(1), 29-42. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0095798405280387
Bronte-Tinkew, J., Carrano, J., & Guzman, L. (2006). Resident fathers’ perceptions of their roles and links to involvement with infants. Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice about Men as Fathers, 4(3), 254-285.
Brotherson, S. E., Dollahite, D. C., & Hawkins, A. J. (2005). Generative fathering and the dynamics of connection between fathers and their children. Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice about Men as Fathers, 3(1), 1-28.
Bumpus, M., Crouter, A., & McHale, S. (2001). Parental autonomy granting during adolescence: Exploring gender differences in context. Developmental Psychology, 37(2), 163-173. doi: https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-16126.96.36.199
Byrd-Craven, J., Auer, B. J., Granger, D. A., & Massey, A. R. (2012). The father-daughter dance: The relationship between father-daughter relationship quality and daughters’ stress response. Journal of Family Psychology, 26(1), 87-94.
Cabrera, N., & Bradley, R. (2012). Latino fathers and their children. Child Development Perspectives, 6(3), 232-238.
Cabrera, N. J., & García-Coll, C. (2004). Latino father involvement: Uncharted territory in need of much exploration. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (4th ed., pp. 98-120). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.
Cabrera, N. J., Hofferth, S. L., & Chae, S. (2011). Patterns and predictors of father-infant engagement across race/ethnic groups. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(3), 365-375. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2011.01.001
Cabrera, N. J., West, J., Shannon, J. D., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2006). Parental interactions with Latino infants: Variation by country of origin and English proficiency. Child Development, 77(5), 1190-1207. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00928.x
Center for Puerto Rican Studies. (2018). Puerto Ricans keep on growing! The Puerto Rican population in the United States grew at a rapid pace between 2016-2017. NY: Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College. Retrieved from https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/sites/default/files/data_sheets/DS2018-08_DATASHEET_2017ACS_1YR.pdf
Coley, R. L. (2003). Daughter-father relationships and adolescent psychosocial functioning in low-income African American families. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65(4), 867–875. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2003.00867.x
Cortés, D. E., Rogler, L. H., & Malgady, R. G. (1994). Biculturality among Puerto Rican adults in the United States. American Journal of Community Psychology, 22(5), 707-721. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02506900
Crouter, A., Manke, B., & McHale, S. (1995). The family context of gender intensification in early adolescence. Child Development, 66(2), 317-329.
Cruz, R. A., King, K. M., Leu, J., Cauce, A. M., Widaman, K. F., & Conger, R. D. (2011). Cultural influences on positive father involvement in two-parent Mexican-origin families. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 731-740.
Fagan, J. (2000). African American and Puerto Rican American parenting styles, paternal involvement, and Head Start children’s social competence. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 16(4), 592-612.
Falicov, C. J. (2007). Working with transnational immigrants: Expanding meanings of family, community, and culture. Family Process, 46, 157-172.
Finley, G. E., & Schwartz, S. J. (2006). Parsons and Bales revisited: Young adult children’s characterization of the fathering role. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 7, 42-55. doi: https://doi.org/10.1037/1524-9188.8.131.52
Foster, J. (2004). Fatherhood and the meaning of children: An ethnographic study among Puerto Rican partners of adolescent mothers. The Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 49(2), 118-125. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/s1526-9523(03)00434-3
Glass, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Latino fathers: The relationship among machismo, acculturation, ethnic identity, and paternal involvement. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 11(4), 251-261. doi: https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021477
Hawkins, A. J., & Palkovitz, R. (1999). Beyond ticks and clicks: The need for more diverse and broader conceptualizations and measures of father involvement. Journal of Men’s Studies, 8, 11-32. doi: https://doi.org/10.3149/jms.0801.11
House, L., Stiffman, E., & Brown, A. (2006). Unraveling cultural threads: A qualitative study of culture and ethnic identity Among urban southwestern American Indian youth parents and elders. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15(4), 393-407.
Kitzinger, J. (1995). Introducing focus groups (Qualitative research, part 5). British Medical Journal, 311(7000), 299-302.
Krippendorff, K. (2012). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Lamb, M. E. (2010). The role of the father in child development (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Lamb, M. E., Pleck, J. H., & Levine, J. A. (1987). Effects of increased paternal involvement on fathers and mothers. In C. Lewis & M. O’Brien (Eds.), Reassessing fatherhood: New observations on fathers and the modern family (pp. 107-125). London: Sage. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/585756
Leavell, A. S., Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., Ruble, D. N., Zosuls, K. M., & Cabrera, N. J. (2012). African American, White and Latino Fathers’ activities with their sons and daughters in early childhood. Sex Roles, 66(1-2), 53-65.
Lemay, C., Cashman, S., Elfenbein, D., & Felice, M. (2010). A qualitative study of the meaning of fatherhood among young urban fathers. Public Health Nursing, 27(3), 221-231. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1525-1446.2010.00847.x
Levers, L. L. (2006). Identifying psychoeducational HIV/AIDS interventions in Botswana: Focus groups and related rapid assessment methods. In C. Fischer (Ed.), Qualitative research methods for the psychological professions (pp. 377-410). NY: Elsevier Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-012088470-4/50016-8
McDowell, D. J., & Parke, R. D. (2009). Parental correlates of children's peer relations: An empirical test of a tripartite model. Developmental Psychology, 45, 224-235.
Mogro-Wilson, C. (2008). The influence of parental warmth and control on Latino adolescent alcohol use. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 30(1), 89-105.
Mogro-Wilson, C. (2013). Parenting in Puerto Rican families. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 94(4), 235-241.
Mogro-Wilson, C., Rojas, R., & Haynes, J. (2016). A cultural understanding of the parenting practices of Puerto Rican fathers. Social Work Research, 40(4), 237-248. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/svw019
Morgan, D. L., & Krueger, R. (1998). Developing questions for focus groups. Thousand Oaks, NY: Sage.
Parke, R. D., Coltrane, S., Borthwick-Duffy, S., Powers, J., Adams, M., & Fabricius, W. (2004). Assessing father involvement in Mexican-American families. In R. D. Day & M. E. Lamb (Eds.), Conceptualizing and measuring father involvement (pp. 17-38). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. doi: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781410609380
Passel, J. S., & Cohn, D. (2008). U.S. population projections: 2005–2050 (Technical Report). Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center, Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/reports/85.pdf
Pleck, J. H., & Masciadrelli, B. P. (2004). Paternal involvement by U.S. residential fathers: Levels, sources, and consequences. In M. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (pp. 222-271). NY: Wiley.
Raffaelli, & Ontai, L. L. (2004). Gender socialization in Latino/a families: Results from two retrospective studies. Sex Roles, 50(5/6), 287–299.
Roopnarine, J. L., Fouts, H., Lamb, M., & Lewis-Elligan, T. Y. (2005). Mothers’ and fathers’ behaviors toward their 3- to 4-month-old infants in lower, middle, and upper socioeconomic African American families. Developmental Psychology, 41, 723-732. doi: https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-16184.108.40.2063
Shears, J., & Robinson, J. (2005). Fathering attitudes and practices: Influences on children's development. Child Care in Practice, 11, 63-79.
Shears, J., Robinson, J., & Emde, R. N. (2002). Fathering relationships and their associations with juvenile delinquency. Infant Mental Health Journal, 23(1-2), 78-87. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.10005
Stanfield, R. B. (2000). The art of focused conversation. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.
Taylor, B. A., & Behnke, A. (2005). Fathering across the border: Latino fathers in Mexico and the U.S. Fathering, 3(2), 99-120. https://doi.org/10.3149/fth.0302.99
Torres, J. B., Solberg, V. S., & Carlstrom, A. H. (2002). The myth of sameness among Latino men and their machismo. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 72(2), 163-181. doi: https://10.1037/0002-94220.127.116.11
U.S. Census Bureau. (2017). American Community Survey demographic and housing estimates 2013-2017. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_17_5YR_DP05&src=pt
Webster, L., Low, J., Siller, C., & Hackett, R. (2013). Understanding the contribution of a father’s warmth on his child’s social skills. Fathering, 11(1), 90-113.
Copyright to works published in Advances in Social Work is retained by the author(s).