Wenn der Vater fehlt

Über die Auswirkungen abwesender Väter auf die kindliche Entwicklung im Vorschulalter

Lendle, Jochen

kassel university press, ISBN: 978-3-89958-908-5, 2010, 144 Pages

URN: urn:nbn:de:0002-9092

Zugl.: Kassel, Univ., Diss. 2010

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Content: In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in interest regarding the function and purpose of fathers in the emotional development of preschool age children.
The doctoral thesis at hand addresses this subject and represents a partial exploration of the Frankfurt Prevention Study, in which the author was actively engaged. Conducted between 2003 and 2006, the study drew a representative sample (n=500) from the basic inquiry (n=4500 children) and implemented a two-year psychoanalytic-oriented prevention program. In comparison to a control sample of equal size, the program proved to be effective: both aggression and anxiousness were reduced to a statistically significant degree for the children in the invention group. Interestingly, however, a statistically significant decrease in hyperactivity was only observed for the girls in this group. In the partial study, which is published here, the main focus was on the boys in the sample.
As discussed in the first chapters, empirical attachment research and the psychoanalytical concepts of triangulation as well as Fonagy et al.’s theory of mentalization served as the theoretical framework for the study.
After describing the research aims, the thesis goes on to provide a detailed summary of the Prevention Study. Next, part of the main study data addressing the dimensions of “aggression”, “anxiousness”, and “hyperactivity” is analyzed in more depth in terms of the research objective of the thesis. Among other things, emphasis is placed on a comparison of the findings on one-parent and two-parent families. This reveals that children from the former group exhibit higher levels of aggression, but the social structure of the particular kindergartens is an intervening variable.

A later chapter describes an intervention method encouraging the use of ruled fighting and a constructive approach to aggression that was tested on boys in a kindergarten. Group experiences as well as individual cases from this implementation are pooled and linked with theoretical considerations. Finally, the concrete observations are correlated to the role of present and absent fathers. In summary, it was found that absent fathers could be a source of insecurity for the boys.
The thesis concludes with some closing remarks and an overview of further research in this field.

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