The relationship between anticipatory socialization and unfulfilled expectation of the father

Terry L. Pickeral
Prior to presenting a theoretical conceptualization of role acquisition we review existing research concerned to explain the transition to parenthood. We find (1) inconsistent data and (2) the fact that social scientists have long ignored the role of father in this analysis and in other areas of family interaction. The areas of interest selected for this study is the acquisition of the role of father for the first time. We present a conceptual framework which explains differences in the amounts
more » ... nces in the amounts of discrepancy between role expectations and role performance experienced upon the acquisition of a role. Developed within this framework is the notion that aspects of roles are learned before their acquisition and this amount of learning (anticipatory socialization) is positively related to the amount of discrepancy experienced by the actor. Such an approach to role acquisition leads us to the hypothesis that a first-time father who did not have younger siblings will experience a greater amount of discrepancy between expectations for his role vis-a-vis his wife, his child, and others, and the actual behavior regarding these roles upon the arrival of the firstborn, than will a first-time father who has younger siblings. To measure these variables we develop an interview schedule to determine the number of younger siblings of the first-time father, their role expectations for themselves and others relevant to the role of father, the corresponding role performances, and if a discrepancy between the two exists, whether its magnitude is of such significance as to hinder their performance as a father. There were ten items on which these latter four variables yield information. This instrument is administered to thirty-five first-time fathers, who are students at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. The respondents are divided into two groups for analysis: an experimental group (i.e., those with younger siblings) and a control group (i.e., those without younger siblings). Our prediction is that those in the [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0094122 fatcat:5ycnslcixbcktm6ca665z7irpu