Is it love? The mediating role of traditional motherhood between maternal warmth and maternal gatekeeping

Aytac F. K.

Current Psychology, vol.42, no.8, pp.6062-6076, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12144-021-01880-8
  • Journal Name: Current Psychology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, BIOSIS, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.6062-6076
  • Keywords: Maternal gatekeeping, Father involvement, Maternal warmth, Traditional motherhood, Gender roles, FATHERS INVOLVEMENT, CHILD-CARE, PARENT CHARACTERISTICS, EMOTION WORK, FAMILY WORK, IDENTITY, BEHAVIOR, INTERVENTION, PREDICTORS, VARIABLES
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.The aim of the current study is twofold: (a) to examine the relationship between maternal warmth (i.e., mother’s warmth towards her child) and maternal gate closing (i.e., maternal behaviors and attitudes that may limit father involvement in childrearing) through the mediating role of traditional motherhood, and (b) to identify cultural aspects of maternal gate closing by considering family work standards in Turkish middle-class families. A mixed-method design was employed. Two hundred Turkish women (Mage = 33.04) participated in online surveys (N = 200), and ten women (N = 10) participated in focus groups. Participants completed a demographic information form and three inventories. The SPSS macro PROCESS with Model 4 was run to test the hypothesis that the relationship between maternal warmth and maternal gate closing is mediated by traditional motherhood in survey data. Results revealed that maternal warmth significantly and positively predicted traditional motherhood (B =.45, SE =.094, p <.001, 95% CI = [.27,.64]), which in turn significantly and positively predicted maternal gate closing (B =.09, SE =.02, p <.01, 95% CI = [.04,.14]). The indirect association between maternal warmth and maternal gate closing was significant in positive direction (B =.0420, boot SE =.0023, 95% CI = [.02,.07]). Focus group results revealed that childrearing tasks were predominantly performed by mothers who want to be first person responsible for these tasks since fathers were perceived as unskillful or withdrawn. The results highlight the importance of determinants of maternal gate closing for intervention programs targeting coparenting and involvement of fathers in the prenatal and postpartum periods.