Identifying the roles of fathers in post-war northern Uganda: Groundwork for a parenting intervention

Christopher J. Mehus, Elizabeth Wieling, Laura Achan, Okot Thomas Oloya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parents are the most proximal influence in children’s lives and parenting practices can moderate the relationship between risk-laden contexts and child outcomes. The present study is part of a broader project supporting Acholi parents in northern Uganda and adds to growing literature on the impact of fathers in children’s lives and fatherhood. Critical ethnography guided individual interviews with 19 fathers, three focus groups, informal conversations with community members and field observations to learn about Acholi fathering roles. Findings show that fathers have three primary ideal roles, to: provide for their children, educate their children, and provide a stable and peaceful home. These roles are all future oriented and occur within broader relational and social contexts including family relationships, recovery from war, and a changing but hierarchical society. The extent to which these roles are fully realised varied based on these contextual factors and individual differences. Findings provide directions for future research with fathers and support our research team’s inclusion of fathers in future parent education programmes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-548
Number of pages23
JournalAfrican Studies
Volume77
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was funded by grants from the College of Education and Human Development and the Center for Personalized Prevention Research, both based at the University of Minnesota. Mehus is also supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under National Research Service Award in Primary Medical Care grant number T32HP22239 (PI: Borowsky), Bureau of Health Workforce. This information or content and conclusions are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the US government. This research was supported by Victim?s Voice (vivo.org).

Funding Information:
The study was funded by grants from the College of Education and Human Development and the Center for Personalized Prevention Research, both based at the University of Minnesota. Mehus is also supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under National Research Service Award in Primary Medical Care grant number T32HP22239 (PI: Borowsky), Bureau of Health Workforce. This information or content and conclusions are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the US government. This research was supported by Victim’s Voice (vivo.org).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd on behalf of the University of Witwatersrand.

Keywords

  • Uganda
  • fathers
  • parent-child relationships

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