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Coparenting in the Context of Mother–Father–Infant versus Mother–Grandmother–Infant Triangular Interactions in Turkey


In this report, coparenting behaviors during triangular interactions among families raising a 3-month-old infant in Turkey are examined. Given the significant role played by extended family members in Turkish culture, coparenting dynamics were examined as mothers and babies played together with grandmothers, as well as together with fathers. Forty-five families took part, and 42 father–mother–baby and 33 grandmother–mother–baby triangular interactions of approximately 10 min in length were filmed during the Lausanne Trilogue Play. From videotapes of the interactions, individual and mutual coparenting behaviors were evaluated using the Coparenting and Family Rating System: 3 Month Adaptation (CFRS3M). Results indicated that while mothers’ own parenting behavior when in the LTP role of Active Parent (AP) was comparable whether with fathers or grandmothers, their behavior when in the LTP role of third party parent (TPP) was comparatively more engaged while with fathers than while with grandmothers. Fathers were comparatively less engaged when occupying the TPP role than were mothers in the TPP role, while grandmothers showed more flirting and distracting behavior in the TPP role than did either fathers or mothers. These findings are significant in documenting meaningful distinctions in Turkish grandmothers’ as well as in Turkish fathers’ and mothers’ coparenting propensities when engaging in triangular interactions with babies during the LTP.

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Author Contributions

S.S.E.: designed and executed the study, collected data, coded observations, ran the data analyses, and wrote the paper. N.S.: collaborated with writing of the study. E.S.: collaborated with data collection and coding observations. J.M.H.: collaborated with the design, writing of the study, and editing of the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Selin Salman-Engin.

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This study represents work from a doctoral dissertation project completed by the first author and supported by the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA).

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The IRB approval for the study was provided by Middle East Technical University, Turkey.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Salman-Engin, S., Sümer, N., Sağel, E. et al. Coparenting in the Context of Mother–Father–Infant versus Mother–Grandmother–Infant Triangular Interactions in Turkey. J Child Fam Stud 27, 3085–3095 (2018).

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  • Triangular interactions
  • Coparenting
  • LTP
  • Fathers
  • Grandmothers
  • Infants
  • Turkey