ERIC Number: ED204037
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
The Changing Role of Fathers. Unit for Child Studies Selected Papers Number 9.
The ideas that fathers do not have the ability to care for children and that it is not good for families to have fathers take a major responsibility for caregiving are not supported by recent research findings. Observations of fathers interacting with newborn infants reveal that fathers can be just as sensitive and competent in caregiving as mothers. Although there are problems associated with being a shared-role family, parents in such families report benefits. Fathers saw that they had improved relationships with their children; mothers gained self-esteem. Research indicates that children in shared-role families, overall, have more play/stimulation type contact than do children in traditional families. Even so, deep-seated objections concerning fathers as caregivers remain prevalent. Some objections are that fathers in the home may (1) contribute to increased child abuse and/or incest, (2) cause an increase in homosexuality, and (3) diminish the "natural" mother-child attachment bond. Findings of research indicate that men are more likely to be traditional in their views than women about parental roles. To reduce the current reliance in Australia on the mother as sole caregiver, a new image of fathers as nurturant, more recognition of the importance of fathers by hospital and medical staff, more flexible work hours, and a more honest recognition of the difficulties of family life are needed. (Author/RH)
Descriptors: Child Rearing, Family Problems, Family Structure, Fathers, Foreign Countries, Mothers, Parent Attitudes, Parent Education, Parent Role, Postsecondary Education, Sex Stereotypes, Social Change
Unit for Child Studies, School of Education, University of NSW, P.O. Box 1, Kensington, NSW 2033, Australia ($2.00; payment should be made in Australian dollars).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New South Wales Univ., Kensington (Australia). School of Education.
Identifiers: Australia; Parenting
Note: For other papers in this series, see PS 012 277-284.