Indicators of Child, Family, and Community Connections. Parental warmth and affection with younger children

08/01/2004

The majority of parents with children under the age of 13 demonstrate some expression of warmth and affection to their child daily, such as hugging or showing them physical affection, telling them that they love them, and telling them that they appreciate something that they did. Mothers are more likely than fathers to report showing their children warmth and affection. For example, in 1997, eighty-five percent of mothers told their child that they love him/her, compared with 62 percent of fathers. These displays of warmth by both mothers and fathers decreased as children got older for all three behaviors.

Percentage of parents of children under age 13 who expressed various forms of warmth and affection to their child every day in the past month, by parent gender: 1997
Percentage of parents of children under age 13 who expressed various forms of warmth and affection to their child every day in the past month, by parent gender: 1997. See text for explanation.

Source: Estimates supplied by Sandra Hofferth, University of Maryland, based on data from the 1997 Panel Study of Income Dynamics - Child Development Supplement. As reported in Child Trends. (2002). Charting parenthood: A statistical portrait of fathers and mothers in America. Washington, DC: Author.

Table 5a.
Percentage of parents of children under age 13
who expressed various forms of warmth and affection every day in the past month,
by selected characteristics: 1997
  Hugged or showed physical affection to their child Told their child that they love him/her Told their child that they appreciated something he or she did
Mothers Fathers Mothers Fathers Mothers Fathers
Total 87 73 85 62 55 37
Race and Hispanic Origin (a)
  White, non-Hispanic 93 76 91 65 56 36
  Black, non-Hispanic 75 56 76 45 56 40
  Hispanic 81 73 77 63 52 41
  Other 78 61 76 40 53 32
Poverty Status
  Poor (0 to 99% poverty) 78 67 80 63 55 44
  Extreme poverty (at 50% or less) 78 58 80 60 49 47
  Nonpoor 90 74 87 61 55 36
  100% to 199% of poverty 88 74 85 60 58 43
  200% to 299% of poverty 86 73 86 58 53 32
  300% or more of poverty 93 74 88 64 55 34
Age of Child
  0-2 years 98 90 95 80 73 56
  3-5 years 93 84 91 69 66 44
  6-9 years 87 70 85 55 48 31
  10-12 years 74 50 72 45 39 17
a. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
Source: Estimates provided by Sandra Hofferth, University of Maryland, based on data from the 1997 Panel Study of Income Dynamics - Child Development Supplement. As reported in Child Trends. (2002). Charting parenthood: A statistical portrait of fathers and mothers in America. Washington, DC: Author.

 

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