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August/September 2002Vol. 3, No. 7New Report Gives Statistical Portrait of Parents in U.S.

Child Trends has released a new report, Charting Parenthood: A Statistical Portrait of Fathers and Mothers in America. The report presents comparable data on mothers and fathers in the United States for more than 40 indicators regarding family formation, fertility, and parenting.

Generally, the focus in research has been on the experiences of women and mothers. By including men and fathers, a greatly expanded picture is presented. Divergence is shown in some areas, as well as agreement in others. The data also provide important insights into the value men place on family life and childrearing, and on the multiple contributions that fathers can make to the lives of their children.

Within the parenting section, data were provided on topics such as:

Attitudes towards parenting

  • Importance of becoming a parent
  • Adult attitudes about the value of children
  • Parents: can one be as good as two?
  • Parents' beliefs about raising children
  • Adults' attitudes toward spanking
  • Parents' responsibility for children

Parenting practices

  • Limit setting
  • Conflict resolution in families

Closeness and conflict between parents and children

  • Degree of closeness adolescent feels toward parent
  • Expressions of warmth and affection
  • Conflict between parents and adolescents
  • Incidence of harsh punishment, violence, or abuse

Charting Parenthood is available online at (Editor's note: this link is no longer available.)

Related Item

See "National Fatherhood Group Examines Statistical Trends in U.S. Families" from the June 2002 issue of the Children's Bureau Express.