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Last summer he wanted to read all the books and then write the reports because writing can be challenging. We told him that would be tough because the material would not be fresh, but asked us to let him try it his way.


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This year we are requiring him to read a couple chapters a day. One night this week he started reluctantly and threw a fit when he learned the first chapter was 14 pages gasp. A short food fight then ensued, resulting in everyone needing to shower. The complaints began immediately see the earlier part about showering reluctance. The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since , including serving as editor and publisher since His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor.

Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in with degrees in Communications journalism concentration and Political Science. Specific aspects of early parenting have been related to different developmental outcomes in children.

Responsiveness has been linked to emotional, social, cognitive and linguistic development Landry et al. Finally, cognitive and linguistic stimulation e. Different tools have been used to measure the quality of parent-child interactions or positive parenting, most relying on parent reports.

Good examples of this kind of instrument are the Alabama Parenting Questionnaire Essau et al. Although these tools can be useful for gaining knowledge about parental competences, they have some limitations that are common to all measures based on self-reporting, which include limitations on validity. When filling out self-report questionnaires, different parents can interpret items differently, not remember well, want to give a good image of themselves… And, even though well-administered questionnaires can offer valuable and useful information, the direct observation of interaction processes between parents and children offers relevant and complementary information.

Some authors have pointed out that direct observation of parental interactions by qualified coders can provide more accurate data about parenting in face-to-face daily interactions Roggman et al.

The HOME Home Measure of the Environment; Caldwell and Bradley, , probably the most broadly used instrument for assessing the quality of family as a developmental context, includes some direct observations of parent-child interactions but is primarily conducted through interview. This coding system provides microanalytic measurements of the early dyadic interaction in a free play situation and has adequate reliability in Spanish and English samples Trenado et al.

Also, in Spain, Velasco et al. Although these direct observation measures tend to have good reliability and validity they are time intensive to code and few have been used cross-culturally. For more information about these tools see the review by Alcantud et al. Parenting interaction characteristics depend on both personal and cultural factors.

Parenting practices are diverse among cultures and reflect cultural child rearing expectations as well as cultural beliefs and values about child development. This does not mean that parenting is intergenerationally transmitted in an automatic way. Although cross-cultural studies have been conducted e. To better understand the global context of parenting, we need a single tool that could be used among different countries and cultural populations.

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These domains are called affection, responsiveness, encouragement and teaching Roggman et al. As mentioned above, emotional warmth and affection affection , responsiveness or responsivity responsiveness , parental control and promotion of autonomy encouragement , and cognitive and linguistic stimulation teaching are the main dimensions of parental behaviors during parent-child interactions that literature has related to the optimization of child development. The PICCOLO has been shown to have strong reliability and validity in multiple ethnic groups in the United States European American, African American, and Latino American families and appears applicable across the developmental spectrum from 10 to 47 months.

The PICCOLO has been translated into many languages using a process that includes back translation while working with the authors to ensure content validity Innocenti and Roggman, In Spain, a tool for assessing parenting both for research purposes e.

It should be an easy-to-administer and easy-to-score observational tool that can provide accurate data about parent-child interactions, be sensitive to changes in response to intervention, and be useful for practitioners who aim to improve parental interactions and thus child development Gardner, ; Aspland and Gardner, ; Roggman et al. Unlike other tools mentioned above, the PICCOLO requires little administration time 10 min of audiovisual recording and 20—30 min of coding , and its international use in different ethnic backgrounds opens the way to sharing results between researchers and carrying out intercultural studies.

The purpose of this study was to test the psychometric properties of the PICCOLO in a large sample of Spanish mothers and children aged from 10 to 47 months, in order to validate the tool for use in the Spanish population, for research or applied purposes. This instrument is a reliable and valid measure of parent-child interactions for parents with children between the ages of 10 and 47 months. Parent-child dyads were observed during 10 min of free play using three bags containing, respectively, a book, toys for pretend play and manipulative toys Fuligni and Brooks-Gunn, The 29 items reflect parent interaction behaviors and are scored according to their frequency as 0 absent, no behavior observed , 1 barely, minor or emerging behavior and 2 clearly, definitive, strong and frequent behavior.

The instrument generates a score for each dimension between 0 and 14 and 0 to 16 for teaching dimension and a total score between 0 and 58 by summing all the items. The correlation of total score between observers of different ethnicities averaged 0. Cognitive, motor and linguistic percentiles were calculated. The Bayley Scales are standardized and have good inter-rater reliability and are valid for predicting current and future development.

Two native speakers of Spanish, both experts in Developmental Psychology, translated the original scale from English into Spanish. An English native speaker back-translated it into English. The final adapted Spanish version was produced after incorporating their suggestions. Participants were recruited from pediatric centers, nurseries and Community Family Centers.

The Spanish sample included mother-child dyads who had been video recorded playing together. The majority of mothers were married or living with a partner Most of them They were either full All scorers were psychologists and specialists in child development. Observer trainees read about the content and purpose of the measure during a 3-h session and watched and discussed four video recordings 3 h.

At the end of the training sessions, the observers watched and coded four to six additional video-recorded interactions to establish reliability 3—6 h. Later on, pediatric centers, nurseries and Community Family Centers were contacted by letter and telephone and informed of the study.


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We contacted the coordinators of the centers to request their collaboration in recruiting families for the study. Families were informed that their participation would be entirely voluntary and anonymous. Families were mailed questionnaire packages containing a newsletter with information about the study and a brief guide about how to video record at home, an informed consent to sign, and a demographic questionnaire to complete. The videos used in this research were those in which the parent followed the directions of the researchers.

The most frequent toys that mothers and children used to play together were books, toy animals, kitchens, little dolls, building blocks… So, the selected toys were very similar to those used by Roggman et al. Twelve video recordings had to be excluded, either because only the child appeared on the tape, or the audio was not clear enough or because they were shorter than 8 min. To test criterion-related validity, a subsample of 64 children were randomly selected and were assessed using the cognitive, motor and linguistic subscales of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development BSID-III; Bayley, The smaller number of participants for this subsample was due to the high cost of applying the Bayley Scales to the children.

Dimensionality of the instrument was examined through confirmatory factor analysis.

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Since items were rated on a 3-point ordinal scale, diagonally weighted least squares DWLS were used to estimate the model parameters. DWLS is considered a robust estimator for ordinal data and small samples and in cases of violations of normality Forero et al. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed using lavaan, an R package for Structural Equation Modeling, version 0. Inter-rater reliability was also estimated via ICCs for each domain and total scores. ICCs were 0. These results demonstrate that there was high agreement between the scores given to each item by the two observers and, consequently, domain and total scores also showed high inter-rater reliability.

All domain and total scores showed a satisfactory alpha coefficient exceeding an acceptable minimum of 0. While a value of 0. The alpha coefficient for the affection domain was very close to 0.

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In addition, all items except two showed discrimination indexes above the recommended minimum of 0. Indeed, as shown in Table 1 , if item 5 was deleted from the affection domain, the alpha coefficient would be 0. Table 1. We tested a model with four first-order factors corresponding to the four hypothesized domains of parenting behaviors affection, responsiveness, encouragement, and teaching , and a second-order factor corresponding to a general factor of positive parenting interactions with children.

Figure 1 shows the path diagram of the confirmatory factor analysis with items loading on one of the four domains, and domains loading on the general factor. Figure 1. Path diagram of the confirmatory factor analysis. Affl indicates Item 1 in the affection domain; this shorthand is used throughout.

The Developing Parent

Error terms are omitted. All factor loadings exceeded the desired threshold of 0. Therefore, the PICCOLO domains were moderately to highly correlated with one another, although not at a level that would suggest that they measure the same construct. Indeed, all of the correlation coefficients between two different domains met the recommended criterion for discriminant validity, which requires a correlation between two constructs of less than 0. Table 3. Table 4.

Learning Objectives

The purpose of this study was to test the psychometric properties of the PICCOLO, an observational measure of parenting interactions with children that was developed in the United States Roggman et al. The reliability and validity of the instrument was explored using a large sample of Spanish mothers and children aged from 10 to 47 months. The mean scores in all domains were similar between 1, 2 and 3 years of age, as shown in Table 2 , with Responsiveness being the most constant dimension among ages.

Affection decreased slightly from 1 to 2 years, and Encouragement showed a slight increase between the same ages. Teaching was the most variable dimension, increasing from 1 to 2 years and from 2 to 3. The analyses of the 29 original PICCOLO items showed that two items should be eliminated due to discrimination indices below the recommended limits. However, in item analysis it is important to keep in mind the main purpose of the instrument. As Bradley pointed out, using procedures that are standard practice in constructing scales e. Accordingly, we decided to include all of the original PICCOLO items for the Spanish version in order to maximize content validity and potential criterion-related validity, at the expense of a lower reliability of the measures.

Other observational measures of parenting that require complex coding or rating scales often require substantial training time for observers to accurately use the measures Fuligni and Brooks-Gunn, In contrast, PICCOLO is a checklist of observable behaviors that can be learned relatively quickly to achieve accurate ratings of parenting interactions with children.

Bernardo 19 , who in the beginning was unable to accept his imminent fatherhood, also counted on the support of his family to take care of his son, which was translated as dialogue and advice: so that is how they helped me, they helped me wake up to help raise my son, take care of him as a father should, and for me to worry about my child as a father Bernardo, Who pays the expenses of the unlicensed pregnancies? Who pays for treatment of complications? What do you do if a black market develops for unlicensed pregnancies and unlicensed births? And how will you prevent the enforcement system from devolving into unbalanced repression against women, seeing as no matter how advanced or sophisticated your paternity testing regimen might be, it will always, always be easier to identify and prosecute female violators?

The Catholic church prohibits use of artificial birth control, and strongly discourages abstinence among married couples when for the purpose of birth control. Regarding the hoops adoptive parents go through, I expect a large part of it is particularly because of the difference between adoption and breeding. Very Orwellian, and who gets to control that type of buracracy stills leaves room for corruption though.

The high reproductive rate that leads to a low quality of life is caused by lack of education, disenfranchised women and difficulty in accessing contraceptives. The basic imperative and purpose of a life form is to reproduce. I would hold that the right to reproduce is inseparable from the right not to reproduce. If the state were to annually cull the leftmost ten percentile on the IQ bell curve, mathematics and genetics ensure that the average IQ would go up and that would almost inevitably lead to a higher standard of living… for those left living.