Integrated Investigators: Mónica Pires (GO)

Susana Mourão (Research Fellow)


In the last decades we have observed significant changes within the family, resulting from demographic, social, economic and cultural changes. Regardless of the typology, the family plays a decisive role in the development and adaptation of its elements, namely the child. Previous studies emphasize the interdependent relationship between the marital relationship and the exercise of parenting and its impact on children's adjustment. Parental cooperation or conflict in a coparenting situation may facilitate the child's adjustment to parental separation or, on the contrary, enhance vulnerability. Currently, we observe an increase in situations after the separation of alternating residence with children. The main objective of this project is to investigate the relationship between family variables, parenting, coparenting with different parental responsibility regimes, and child adjustment from the perspective of fathers and mothers from different countries. We intend to contribute to the theoretical models of parenting, and provide useful information for professionals who work in favor of family well-being and the supreme interest of the child. Based on this assumption, the subproject “Attitudes towards social dominance in children and families from different psychosocial-cultural contexts” was developed.

Attitudes towards social dominance in children and families with different psychosocial-cultural backgrounds

The social domain as a primary organisational dimension present in all cultures, affects social relationships from early childhood. Like adults, children are sensitive to multiple cues of dominance, amongst which dominance facial traits. Despite the importance of the family context for social development, there are no studies focusing on its impact on children's preferences and understanding of social dominance. Here we will study the factors that modulate early childhood social dominance preferences in a sample of families of different socio-economic status in different countries, namely, Portugal and France. The use of mixed methodology including the collection of family, parental and child social dominance preference data in a sample with parents and children will bring a major contribution to this line of research.

Key words: orientation towards social dominance; facial perception; visual preference; social preference; socioeconomic status, psychosocial vulnerability; parenting styles.

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