[The Father's Role in the Coparenting Partnership.].Sante Ment Que. 2001; 26(1):134-59.SM
The father's role in the coparenting partnership is reviewed from an evolutionary and family systems perspective. Whenever two individuals are available to parent a child, a coparenting relationship exists. The coparenting relationship is developed within the framework of the mother-child attachment relationship. The father's entrance into this system tends to be determined by individual characteristics of the father, which set a baseline level of the father's motivation to parent, and by maternal gatekeeping proclivities, which discourage or facilitate paternal involvement. Three approaches to the coparenting relationship are presented : multidimensional assessments of the division of labor, the parenting alliance, and coparenting interactions. Father's relationships within different family subsystems appear to be less differentiated than those of mothers, leaving coparenting partnerships vulnerable to father's satisfaction with family and marital relationships. The father's commitment to family and the mother's ability to allow fathers some autonomy in parenting are critical factors in coparenting relationships.