Purpose: In many middle-class families in Turkey,
mothers typically occupy a mediator role in father-child communications, meaning that messages
between fathers and children (particularly regarding
an important subject) are sent through mothers. This
phenomenological study investigates Turkish father-child communication dynamics, the roles of mothers
in this relationship, and the effects of mothers acting
as mediators in communications between father and
Research Methods: This study used Interpretative
Phenomenological Analyses to reveal the essence of
the relationship of participants with their fathers and
their shared experiences regarding the reflection of
the mother’s role in the father-child relationship and
common meanings that have been established.
Employing a homogeneous sampling method, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 middle-class undergraduate students (nine
female and six male students) aged 19-24 (x=21.33) in Istanbul, Turkey.
Findings: Our analyses revealed the following three overarching themes that define the
experiences of the participants: (i) an unsatisfactory father-child relationship, (ii) the mother:
relational fulcrum of the father-child communications, and (iii) problematic emotional
reactions to family-interactions.
Implications for Research and Practice: This study represents a critical step towards
understanding the experiences of youths raised in families wherein mothers occupy a
mediator role in father-child communications. It revealed that the father-child relationship
does not represent a satisfactory relationship and that this relationship is associated with a
sense of deprivation by the children. A comparative evaluation of the experiences of the
fathers, mothers, and children would enrich the interpretations and help to obtain a more
complicated view of these family relationships.