Maternal separation anxiety re-defined as parental separation anxiety
Applefield, Deborah H.
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The purposes of this study are to compare mothers' and fathers' levels of parental separation anxiety, and to examine the relationships between mothers' and fathers levels of parental separation anxiety, degree of involvement in childcare and in work outside the home, and fathers' sex role attitudes. Written questionnaires were completed by 61 married couples with young children to obtain the data for this study. Questionnaires completed were the Parental Separation Anxiety Scale, the Personal Attributes Questionnaire, the Brannon Masculinity Scale, the Role of the Father Questionnaire, and the Childcare Questionnaire.;The results demonstrated that mothers' and fathers' feelings of sadness, loss, and guilt about the separation experience were the same; but that mothers had much greater conflict than did fathers, concerning the compatibility of their work and their ability to care for their child. It was found that fathers' sex-role attitudes were more strongly related to their wives' anxiety and concerns about separation than to their own anxiety and concerns about separation. More specifically, fathers' more traditional sex role attitudes were positively associated with their wives higher levels of concern and anxiety about separation. For mothers, a strong negative relationship was demonstrated between their involvement in work and their employment-related separation anxiety. For both parents, a strong negative relationship was found between their involvement in work and involvement in childcare.