Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

A study of the expressed concerns, feelings, and needs of expectant fathers

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  • The purpose of this descriptive research was twofold: 1) to determine the expressed concerns, feelings, and needs of a selected group of expectant fathers; and 2) to categorize those expressed concerns, feelings, and needs into broad areas and to develop a priority listing of those items as a basis for developing, implementing, and evaluating methods designed for meeting them. Existing literature and taped discussions with expectant fathers were used as the basis for the development of a 54 item questionnaire. Following a pretest and revision of the questionnaire it was administered to 15 expectant fathers attending expectant parent classes in Benton County, Oregon. As a basis for analysis, the 54 items of the questionnaire were categorized into six broad areas a follows: expectant fatherhood; wife during pregnancy; husband-wife relationship during pregnancy; fatherhood; unborn child; and the husband-physician relationship during pregnancy. Each of these areas contained a variety of items relating to the concerns, feelings, and needs of prospective fathers. Results were tabulated, a weighted percentage was calculated for each item, and a priority listing was made of the concerns, feelings, and needs within each of the six broad areas. Expectant fathers did express and were able to identify their feelings, concerns, and needs. From the priorities established it appeared that some areas were of more concern to fathers than others. The most important areas included, expectant fatherhood, the wife in the pregnancy state, and the husband-wife relationship during the pregnancy period. Fathers expressed a wide variation in the degree to which those feelings, concerns, and needs were felt. The greatest concern of expectant fathers involved the health of the unborn baby, the concern that this baby would change their lives, and the concern that they were not doing the right things for their wives. The feelings of most importance included: the feelings of excitement and happiness about the coming child; their feelings of importance, involvement, and enjoyment; and their feelings that it was their job to support and reassure their wives. Needs identified as important included: the need of the fathers to be with their wives throughout labor and during delivery; the need to understand what was happening to their wives both physically and emotionally; the need to be involved in this pregnancy from the beginning; and the need to know and understand more about becoming a father. This study was designed to establish a baseline of data regarding the concerns, feelings and needs of expectant fathers. It is hoped that further, in depth research will be an outgrowth of this study.
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