Maternal-child nurses' social judgments about types of fathers
Nurses are affected by societal attitudes and are not immune to implicit social judgments. This mixed-methods study examined nurses' : (1) perceptions about various types of fathers, (2) emotional reactions to the fathers, and (3) responses to questions raised by the fathers. The Stereotype Content Model (SCM) and nuclear family ideology were used as frameworks to guide this study. A sample of 167 maternal-child nurses participated in an on-line survey in which they responded to three randomized multiple segment factorial vignettes featuring five father types bringing a child to the clinic with different health conditions (e.g., a child with general health problems; a child with a chronic illness; a child with acute health symptoms). After reading descriptions of the father and child, nurses were presented with forced-choice questions about their perceptions of and emotional reactions to the fathers. They also were asked to answer questions raised by the fathers, using written responses. A series of one-way MANOVAs were conducted to examine nurses' perceptions and emotional reactions to the fathers. Content analyses were conducted on nurses' written responses. Although there were two significant statistical comparisons, the quantitative results suggested that nurses' perceptions of and reactions to the fathers were not affected by the fathers' marital and parental statuses. However, the qualitative data presented a more complicated and ambiguous picture. Nurses' written responses were not the same for all types of fathers. Social judgments may have affected how nurses responded to certain father types.
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