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The role of reflective functioning in predicting parenting and coparenting quality

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Title: The role of reflective functioning in predicting parenting and coparenting quality
Author(s): Jessee, Allison
Director of Research: Mangelsdorf, Sarah C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Mangelsdorf, Sarah C.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Roisman, Glenn I.; McElwain, Nancy; Ostler, Teresa; Bost, Kelly
Department / Program: Psychology
Discipline: Psychology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): reflective functioning parenting coparenting family studies infancy
Abstract: This investigation examined the validity of parental reflective functioning (RF; Fonagy, Target, Steele, & Steele, 1998) which is a measure designed to assess understanding of emotions and other mental states. RF was coded based on the prebirth Adult Attachment Interviews (AAI; George, Kaplan, & Main, 1985). Parenting and coparenting quality were assessed 13 months after the birth of the target child. Correlational and factor analyses indicated considerable overlap between RF and traditional AAI coding. Exploratory factor analyses of RF and AAI state of mind scales indicated that RF loaded, along with coherence of mind, on the primary factor distinguishing between individuals categorized as secure and dismissing. Maternal RF significantly predicted paternal dyadic sensitivity and coparenting quality and marginally predicted maternal dyadic and paternal triadic sensitivity. Paternal RF did not predict parenting quality. Interestingly, fathers’ RF predicted coparenting quality of daughters, and mothers’ RF predicted coparenting quality of sons. These findings indicate that the RF measure is an important predictor of family functioning and warrants further investigation.
Issue Date: 2012-09-18
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/34348
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Allison Jessee
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-09-18
Date Deposited: 2012-08
 

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