“We Say ‘Mothers’ But Mean ‘Parents’”: Qualitative Perceptions and Experiences With Father Absence Among Curaçaoan, Curaçaoan-Dutch, and Dutch Young People

Marielle Osinga*, Diana D. van Bergen, Odette J. van Brummen-Girigori, Tina Kretschmer, Margaretha C. Timmerman

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

Samenvatting

Perceptions and experiences with biological father absence might vary depending on the extent to which father absence constitutes a common family form, like it does in many Caribbean countries. The goal of this qualitative study was to better understand what it means to grow up without a father for Curaçaoan (n = 19; 15–24 years), Curaçaoan-Dutch (n = 15; 14–29 years), and Dutch (n = 16; 16–26 years) young men and women. Findings from thematic analyses of ethically approved in-depth interviews revealed that most interviewees from all three cultural groups perceived no bond with and upbringing from their absent father. The interviewees noted emotional pain, but also mentioned that (m)others compensated for their father’s absence. Dutch interviewees were more negative about their absent father, and both Dutch and Curaçaoan-Dutch interviewees experienced more difficulties with respect to their father’s absence compared with Curaçaoan interviewees. Studying the similarities and differences between perceptions and experiences with father absence enriches our knowledge of what it means to grow up without a father. Doing so from young people’s point of view and across cultures has important practical value by providing a fuller understanding of the meaning of father absence for young people across cultures.
Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftJournal of Adolescent Research
DOI's
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 21-mei-2021

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