An intervention to increase father involvement and skills with infants during the transition to parenthood

William J Doherty, Martha Farrell Erickson, Ralph LaRossa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined whether a group educational intervention during the transition to parenthood can enhance the quality of father-child interaction and increase father involvement with their children. A randomized experimental design was used to evaluate an 8-session program with 165 couples who were first-time parents, beginning during the second trimester of pregnancy and ending at 5 months postpartum. Outcomes were assessed with time diaries, coded observations of parent-child play, and self-reports of fathers and mothers. The intervention had positive effects on fathers' skills in interacting with their babies and their involvement on work days but not home days. It is concluded that a relatively brief intervention during the transition to parenthood can improve fathering, and possible reasons for differential effects on areas of parenting are explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-447
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Keywords

  • Father interventions
  • Father involvement
  • Father-child relationships
  • Fathering

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