An investigation of barriers and facilitators of father involvement: a mixed methods design

PhD Thesis


Brown, James. 2022. An investigation of barriers and facilitators of father involvement: a mixed methods design. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy (DPHD). University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/w7570
Title

An investigation of barriers and facilitators of father involvement: a mixed methods design

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorsBrown, James
Supervisor
1. FirstA/Pr Erich Fein
2. SecondProf Charlotte Brownlow
3. ThirdProf Sonja March
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy (DPHD)
Number of Pages263
Year2022
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/w7570
Abstract

This thesis presents the findings of a mixed-methods program of research devised to investigate barriers and facilitators to father involvement in parenting. Study 1 hypothesised that the specific barriers and facilitators of father involvement in parenting programs may have universal applicability to fathering. Therefore, Study 1 used a qualitative method that employed semi-structured interviews with twelve couples regarding a hypothetical dilemma of their participation in a parenting program. Thematic analysis found factors consistent with the literature such as design and delivery methods, and Fathers’ employment commonly noted as an impediment to their participation. Further, findings suggested that fathers were tending to collude with mothers taking a lead parental role and this collusion was based on the notion of maternal essentialism. The second study was accordingly devised to expand on these findings, specifically through the lens of fathers’ experiences of their involvement in parenting their children. A cross-sectional survey of 298 fathers found that fathers’ reported maternal gatekeeping, or the involvement of the mother in either facilitating or inhibiting parenting access of the father, which was evident in impacts on levels of fathers’ involvement with their children. These impacts were mediated by fathers’ role perceptions, sense of self-efficacy in their parenting, and levels of conflict within the coparenting relationship. In sum, the findings were consistent with the literature that a positive coparenting alliance, and facilitative attitudes and behaviours of mothers, produce a conducive environment to increased father involvement. The findings are discussed in relation to father involvement specifically relating to parenting programs, as well as father involvement generally. The implications of these findings are considered in the context of the family microsystem, in families in Australian society in general. Recommendations which improve the transition to parenthood period, such as paid parenting leave, were advocated as having the greatest potential to increase father involvement, and produce greater coparenting equality.

KeywordsFathering; Co-Parenting; Child Development; Work Life Balance; Work Life Balance; Family Systems
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520302. Clinical psychology
350503. Human resources management
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Psychology and Wellbeing
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