Many Men Believe It Is More Important to Be an Active Father Than Breadwinner

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“fathers day” by James Simkins is licensed under CC BY 2.0Richard J. Petts PhD

Department of Sociology
Ball State University
North Quad 213
Muncie, IN 47306

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This study looked at a national sample of over 2,000 fathers with children aged 2-18 to assess whether attitudes about traditional masculine norms and attitudes toward the new fatherhood ideal influence the degree to which fathers are involved in their children’s lives.

Our research shows that fathers who adhere to more traditional forms of masculinity (acting tough, being independent, not expressing emotion), are less involved in their children’s lives and have a greater likelihood of engaging in harsh punishment.

In contrast, fathers who identify more with the new fatherhood ideal (which emphasizes engaged, nurturing, supportive fathering) are involved more frequently in their children’s lives. We know from a large body of research that father involvement is associated with numerous positive outcomes for children (e.g., fewer problem behaviors, higher psychological well-being, better academic outcomes).

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