Journal of Marriage and Family
Contextual, mother-, child-, and father-level variables were examined in association with fathers' emotion talk to infants during a shared picture book activity, in an ethnically diverse, low-income sample (N = 549). Significant main effects included the rate of emotion talk from fathers' romantic partners (i.e., the infant's mother), infant attention and distress, and sensitive parenting. Significant interactions were also found. Higher income African American fathers referred to negative emotions more than non-African American higher income fathers. In addition, African American fathers who demonstrated more negative and intrusive parenting referred to positive emotions more than non-African American fathers who demonstrated negative and intrusive parenting. Our findings support family systems theory and, specifically, the interdependence of individuals' behaviors within the family unit. Interaction effects are discussed with respect to cultural variation in beliefs about parenting behaviors and the cultural experience of African Americans, including the Black cultural experience and the minority experience. (Author abstract)
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