Within Family Patterns of Relative Parental Involvement Across Two Generations of Swedish Parents

Maria Wängqvist, Johanna Carlsson, Moin Syed, Ann Frisén, Michael E. Lamb, C. Philip Hwang

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1 Scopus citations


This prospective longitudinal study investigated father involvement relative to mother involvement in parent dyads across two generations from the same family. Relative parental involvement was operationalized using measures of how much parents shared parenting responsibilities and to whom their children turned preferentially in various situations. We hypothesized mean level increases towards more equal involvement for fathers and mothers across generations as well as intergenerational continuity of within-family patterns for both aspects of parental involvement. The longitudinal study involved 144 families and their first-born children, followed since 1982. The analyses involved the families of the 74 children who were parents themselves by age 33. Father involvement was lower than mother involvement in both generations. Results revealed mean level changes towards more equal sharing of responsibilities in the second generation, but no intergenerational changes in the likelihood that children would be more likely to turn to their fathers in various situations. There was intergenerational continuity within families in child preferences but not in the sharing of responsibilities. Together these findings imply that child preferences are related to within-family influences whereas other factors affect parents' sharing of responsibilities. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1240-1248
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Grants from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare supported this research. Preparation of this article was supported by a grant from the Jacobs Foundation Young Scholars Program. Our thanks go to the families in this project for their participation throughout this longitudinal study. Analytic code and supplementary tables are available at https:// osf.io/rbndz/. The data are not publicly available and no aspect of this research was preregistered.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Psychological Association


  • Family dynamics
  • Intergenerational transmission
  • Longitudinal
  • Prospective within-family analyses
  • Relative father involvement

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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