Mothers are the protagonists in a widespread narrative that emphasizes motherhood as prolonged and exclusive attention to children, accompanied by references to natural competence in child-rearing skills. The present research aimed to investigate the linking mechanisms and conditional processes underlying the perception of mothers’ competence. Cisgender heterosexual Italian participants (N = 230) read one of four vignettes describing a situation in which a mother (i.e., heterosexual biological mother, heterosexual stepmothers, lesbian stepmother, and lesbian biological mother) interacts with her two children who had misbehaved. After reading the vignette, the participants rated the depicted mother’s competence and to what extent the children’s misbehaviour was attributable to the mother. Moderated-mediation analyses indicated that all the non-traditional mothers were perceived as being less competent compared to the heterosexual biological mother, by giving them greater responsibility for their children’s misbehaviour, among participants with medium–high levels of traditional gender-role beliefs. Sexual orientation and biology relatedness were not cumulative variables, but intersecting categories creating a unique way to perceive mothers. As the number of non-traditional families grows, negative societal attitudes toward non-traditional parents and their children should be increasingly considered.

Attitudes toward “Non-Traditional” Mothers: Examining the Antecedents of Mothers’ Competence Perceptions

Marco Salvati
Project Administration
;
2022

Abstract

Mothers are the protagonists in a widespread narrative that emphasizes motherhood as prolonged and exclusive attention to children, accompanied by references to natural competence in child-rearing skills. The present research aimed to investigate the linking mechanisms and conditional processes underlying the perception of mothers’ competence. Cisgender heterosexual Italian participants (N = 230) read one of four vignettes describing a situation in which a mother (i.e., heterosexual biological mother, heterosexual stepmothers, lesbian stepmother, and lesbian biological mother) interacts with her two children who had misbehaved. After reading the vignette, the participants rated the depicted mother’s competence and to what extent the children’s misbehaviour was attributable to the mother. Moderated-mediation analyses indicated that all the non-traditional mothers were perceived as being less competent compared to the heterosexual biological mother, by giving them greater responsibility for their children’s misbehaviour, among participants with medium–high levels of traditional gender-role beliefs. Sexual orientation and biology relatedness were not cumulative variables, but intersecting categories creating a unique way to perceive mothers. As the number of non-traditional families grows, negative societal attitudes toward non-traditional parents and their children should be increasingly considered.
attitudes; gender role beliefs; motherhood; mothers; sexual prejudice
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2022. Attitudes toward Non-Traditional Mothers. Examining the Antecedents of Mothers’ Competence Perceptions.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione dell'editore
Licenza: Dominio pubblico
Dimensione 412.84 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
412.84 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1076566
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact