Knowledge About Parenting as a Predictor of Behavioral Discipline Practices between Mothers and Fathers

Zahir Vally, Fatima El Hichami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Knowledge of child-rearing and child development is of the utmost importance to optimal parenting and child well-being. Most of what is known about parenting knowledge is derived from mothers or at-risk samples. Accordingly, in a sample comprising both mothers and fathers, we examined and compared parenting knowledge, dysfunctional discipline practices, and parenting self-efficacy. We also explored the preferred sources of knowledge employed by parents in gathering information about child development. Fathers demonstrated lesser knowledge about child development compared to mothers, were more likely to employ dysfunctional disciplining strategies, and relied on their partner for information about parenting. Parent gender, parent age, and ethnicity were significant predictors of parenting knowledge, and higher parenting knowledge was associated with diminished use of dysfunctional discipline behaviors. We discuss these findings in relation to the ‘gate-keeping process’ and sociocultural changes in relation to gender norms for mothers and fathers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-50
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Child-rearing
  • Childcare
  • Discipline
  • Fathers
  • Parenting knowledge
  • Parenting self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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