Fathers' perceptions of their impact on children's health and well-being : an exploratory study Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tt44pq54j

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  • Fathers play a critical role in child development and well-being, yet research on how men view their roles as fathers and their influence on their children's health is limited. The present study sought to answer the following questions: 1) What are men's expectations regarding fatherhood? 2) How have these expectations changed after becoming fathers? 3) What factors or role models shape and influence these expectations? and, 4) How do fathers perceive their impact on the health and well-being of their children? Data were collected via in-depth interviews with 20 fathers of pre-school aged children residing in two Oregon communities. Results suggest that role models, work schedule, mothers' roles, and their self-identity as fathers influenced participants' views of themselves as fathers and consequently their involvement in their children's lives. Fathers' sense of responsibility, either financial or emotional or both, appeared to heavily impact the ways they chose to engage with their children. While meeting physical needs of food, clothing, and shelter were discussed, for these fathers the primary indicator of children's health was happiness. They considered themselves responsible for creating a happy home environment in which to nurture their children's mental and emotional health. All the fathers engaged in caring for their children when they were sick, including sharing specific tasks such as doctors' visits, dispensing medicine, and staying at home with the children. Findings suggest that fathers view themselves as playing an important role in promoting and protecting the health of their children.
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