Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Vicky Phares, Ph.D.


Children, Attribution, Experiment, Father, Affect


This study focused on fathers and their willingness to participate in family related research studies. Traditional expectations of parental roles have hindered the inclusion of fathers in research studies despite gradual changes in cultural norms and research studies that indicate fathers have a significant influence on the developmental outcomes of children. Recent work in this area indicates that fathers are just as likely as mothers to participate in family related research. This study sought to shed light on this issue. Employees at three large Southeastern Universities were asked to participate in one of three different types of research: Academics, Athletics, and Behavioral Functioning. The requests were manipulated to be framed as either positive, negative, or neutral requests for parental participation in the study. Requests were sent to employees either via interdepartmental mail for one institution or via email for two institutions. It was hypothesized that (1) requests framed in a negative manner would have higher rates of participation than requests framed in either a positive or a neutral manner, (2) there would be more mothers than fathers who agreed to participate in the study across research type (Academic, Athletic, and Behavioral), (3) fathers would have higher rates of participation in athletic related research vs. academic and behavioral research, (4) the Lum Emotional Availability of Parents Scale (LEAP) would be found construct valid, and (5) parental willingness to participate in future research would be related to parental emotional availability. Only hypothesis four received strong support as the LEAP was found to be correlated with measures of parental warmth and involvement in expected directions. Additional findings revealed that mothers had a higher response rate than fathers. Implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.