Conceptualization of Father Influences in the Infancy Period

  • Frank A. Pedersen
  • Leon J. Yarrow
  • Barbara J. Anderson
  • Richard L. CainJr.
Part of the Genesis of Behavior book series (GOBE, volume 2)


There is no longer a need to intone the standard opening litany that psychologists have been preoccupied with maternal influences to the exclusion of other social agents. On the contrary, there is now considerable evidence of research interest in father-infant relationships, the paternal role, and distinctive aspects of father-infant interaction. The more serious problem, however, is that there has not been an adequate effort to conceptualize paternal influences in the infancy period. To redress this oversight, we will present some theoretical ideas in order to encourage the development of an explanatory network for research on fathers. The central thesis is that father influences must be understood as occurring within the family unit. It is not meaningful to make global generalizations about what fathers do, or what their effects are, without considering the larger family context.


Marital Satisfaction Paternal Behavior Spouse Relationship Infancy Period Spouse Communication 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank A. Pedersen
    • 1
  • Leon J. Yarrow
    • 1
  • Barbara J. Anderson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard L. CainJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Social and Behavioral Sciences BranchNational Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Washington School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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