Maternal Gatekeeping: Mothers' Beliefs and Behaviors That Inhibit Greater Father Involvement in Family Work

  • Allen S
  • Hawkins A
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Abstract

Maternal gatekeeping is conceptualized within the framework of the social construction of gen- der and is defined as having three dimensions: mothers' reluctance to relinquish responsibility over family matters by setting rigid standards, ex- ternal validation of a mothering identity, and dif- ferentiated conceptions offamily roles. These three conceptual dimensions of gatekeeping are opera- tionalized with modest reliability and tested with a confirmatory factor analysis on a sample of 622 dual-earner mothers. With cluster analyses, 21% of the mothers were classified as gatekeepers. Gatekeepers did 5 more hours offamily work per week and had less equal divisions of labor than women classified as collaborators.

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Authors

  • Sarah M. Allen

  • Alan J. Hawkins

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