Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work
An investigation of the physical and psychological presence of the Jamaican father
Caribbean childhoods: From research to action
Date of Publication
Explores the father-child relationship, and its consequencies, through research and a discussion of fatherhood in the Jamaican context. Specifically attempts to determine whether the physical and psychological presence of children's biological fathers are associated with their wellbeing and the quality of the father-child relationship. Provides evidence for or against studies advocating that the 'marginal' father is an overgeneralisation and/or stereotype. Structured interviews were carried out with a sample of 251 school children with a mean age of 14 years, from the Kingston area. The study focused on the children's pereceptions of the relationships with their biological fathers. Overall, children living with their fathers enjoyed a higher quality relationship with him than those who lived separately, except for the amount of emotional rejection they faced. The relationship boys and girls shared with their resident biological fathers was found to be similar. The psychological presence of the father was also a significant moderator of the quality of the father--child relationnship, and children with higher scores on this variable generally had a better emotional relationship with their fathers. The psychological presence of the father appeared to have a greater positive effect on children than mere physical presence. The most significant contribution of the present study is to qualify the applicability of the 'marginal' father stereotype to psychologically absent fathers. (AU)....