Objective. Parental expectations before birth may predict children’s development and family environment. Researchers investigated the similarity and differences between expecting mothers and fathers regarding their future parental behavior. Design. Pregnant women (N = 820) and their partners (N = 512) completed questionnaires concerning their future parenting. Results. Mothers’ and fathers’ prenatal parental expectations correlated positively; mothers expected to show more warm, positive parenting and less negative, rejecting parenting compared to fathers; and for most parenting variables, mother–father agreement remained significant only for couples not knowing the fetus’s sex. Conclusions. Patterns of agreement and differences between mothers and fathers regarding future parenting resemble postnatal findings in the literature. Future studies should examine how prenatal expectations relate to postnatal parenting to better understand their significance in child development.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the European Research Council (grant no. 240994) to the last author.
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