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  • Exploring Fatherhood in Bangladesh (Fatherhood is an important element in the construction of Bangladeshi male identity) (pdf 238kb)
    by Jessica Ball and Muhammad Obaidullah Khan Wahedi
    Both fatherhood (the social and symbolic status accorded to fathers) and fathering (the activities fathers engage in and carry out in the care of their children)have largely been formally conceptualized through a Western lens. Theories, research, and program models focused on fathers’ contributions to children’s well-being have drawn upon traditional Euro-western cultural values, family formations, and goals for children’s development. For several reasons, these perspectives are unlikely to be useful in understanding fatherhood and fathering in Bangladesh or other South Asian contexts. Article posted with the permission of the Association for Childhood Education International,

  • The Principles of Father Inclusive Practice (doc 67kb)
    by Engaging Fathers Project , University of Newcastle, Australia
    Father-Inclusive Practice Principles are modelled on family-sensitive principles already in use within family and health services and on proposals for sustainability within the child care sector. The nine principles and their implications for service providers were developed through the Father Inclusive Practice Forum held in Newcastle, Australia in 2005.

  • Profiles of Fathers in Canada (Demographic Profile of Canada's Fathers) (pdf 157kb)
    by Zenaida Ravanera
    This article, prepared as part of FIRA’s demographic profile of Canadian fatherhood, presents analyses of data from the 2001 Canadian Census, the 2001 General Social Survey on the Family, the 2005 General Social Survey on Time Use and the 2003 General Social Survey on Social Engagement. The article presents and explains demographic and other quantitative data on Canadian fathers in general, several sub-populations of fathers, fathers’ time-use and the social capital of fathers. The author also discusses design issues which limit the ability of existing surveys to capture data about Canadian fathers and suggests improvements.

  • Understanding and Supporting Indigenous Fathers' Journeys (pdf 989kb)
    by Jessica Ball
    Research poster based on the work of FIRA's Indigenous Fathers Cluster, presented at the 3rd biannual conference of the Living Knowledge Network, Belfast, August 2009.

  • Community University Partnership Research (Steps towards a negotiated social justice) (pdf 676kb)
    by Jessica Ball
    Research poster presented at the 3 biannual conference of the Living Knowledge, Belfast, August, 2009.

  • Garde d'enfants, droit de visite et responsabilité (Ã la recherche d'une norme juste et équitable) (pdf 157kb)
    by Edward Kruk
    French language version of the executive summary of Child Custody, Access and Parental Responsibility (The Search for A Just and Equitable Standard).

  • Conference Report (pdf 131kb)
    by John Hoffman
    This document is a report on the conference Father Involvement 2008, hosted by FIRA in Toronto from October 22 - 24, 2008. The report includes synopses of the five keynote addresses along with a description of themes covered in breakout sessions (with examples) and conference statistics.

  • Why Does Father Involvement Promote Child and Adolescent Development:Addressing an Under Theorized Issue (Keynote Address) (ppt 904kb)
    by Dr. Joe Pleck
    Supporting the fatherhood practitioner community's work to encourage father involvement, fatherhood scholars in recent years have made important theoretical advances. In addition, researchers have used increasingly sophisticated designs to document the benefits of great father involvement for children, in particular showing that father involvement has effects independent of mother involvement. However, missing in both recent theoretical advances and empirical research is progress on the most under-theorized issue concerning father involvement today: exactly why father involvement does or should promote development. This paper critically analyzes four theoretical perspectives, used explicitly or implicitly in current work, about the processes of paternal influence: attachment theory, essential father theory, Bronfenbrenner ecological theory with its concept of proximal process and social capital theory. The promise that attachment theory holds for the conceptualization of paternal influence is limited to the rather small attachment research community. Essential father theory is widely accepted by the lay public and even among professionals, but empirical support for fathers making an essential and unique contribution to development is at present quite weak. Bronfenbrenner's concept of proximal process and the social capital framework provide the best available foundation for theory about exactly how fathering promotes, or does not promote, development. The paper concludes by developing an integrated, ecological-parental capital, theory of paternal influences on development. In developing this integrated theory, the paper addresses how practitioners can best provide strong support for greater father involvement without making essentialist assumptions about fathers' unique contributions.

  • It Takes A Village (Exploring the Role of Otherfathers in African Communities in the Diaspora) (ppt 840kb)
    by Wanda Thomas Bernard
    Whilst we see much in the literature about the role of Black mothers in raising their sons, there is little written about the role of fathers. Furthermore, much of what is found often pathologizes and marginalizes the experiences of Black men, especially fathers. In addition to systemic racism, the most significant impact on the psyche of Black men within the last 20 years has been the distortion and misrepresentation of Black men and ‘blackness’ within the mass media. It is within this genre of information gathering, assumption making and information sharing that the images of Black men as fathers gets scripted and distorted. This new linear narrative of Black masculinity then becomes the normative view of Black men and fathers, a view that often gets internalized by members of the Black community, especially Black adolescents. This keynote address challenges many of those assumptions, through an examination of the role of Black fathers, otherfathers and community fathers in African communities in the Diaspora. Using a reflective analysis of data gathered in several projects about Black fathers, this keynote will share ideas on the significance of otherfathers in Black communities. Highlighting the challenges and successes, from the perspectives of Black sons, we will hear about the role of fathers and otherfathers in these men’s lives, focusing on stories these men told about their fathers and their experiences with other men in their lives. I assert that otherfathers and community fathers are a critical component for healthy parenting in African-Canadian communities and for building capacity in those communities.

  • Fathering in the Early Years (How Family Physicians Can Help) (ppt 219kb)
    by William Watson
    An increasing amount of research indicates the importance of fathers in their children’s intellectual, emotional and social development in the early years from birth to six years of age. At the same time, there are few programs to assist fathers to develop their parenting skills. Fathers are often unaware of the importance of their regular contact with their child. Community-based programs are limited to English-speaking fathers whose children were between one and six years of age but pilot programs have now been developed with the many multicultural communities, especially recent immigrants. Several of the language programs now invite mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers to attend because grandparents often provide parenting to their grandchildren when both parents are in the work force. The Focus on Fathers programs for fathers of children from birth to six years of age were set up in 1999 because of the content of programs includes topics such as attachment, unexpected illness and disability, postpartum depression, effective parenting, dealing with anger, conflict resolution and problem solving. The goals of this workshop include: To review the evidence on the importance 1. of fathers in child development. To network with other family physicians 2. on the topic of the challenges of involving fathers child rearing and healthy families. To have an open interactive discussion 3. on fathers’programs across Canada, including the focus on fathers program.

  • Paternal Engagement in Sudanese and Russian Newcomer Families (Paper Presentation) (ppt 1.69Mb)
    by David Este
    Immigrant and refugee male adults come to Canada with multiple identities, one of which may be being a father. Until very recently, research on refugee and immigrant men as fathers is quite limited in the Canadian context. Through a qualitative research study involving in-depth interviews with 20 Sudanese refugee and 14 Russian immigrant men in a large urban centre in Canada, this paper examines their perceptions and experiences as fathers. Insights on the meaning of fatherhood, values that guide their behaviour, their aspirations for and interactions with their children and the challenges they face as fathers in Canadian society form the specific content that will be presented. Implications for human service providers such as social work practitioners will also be discussed.

  • Les effets de l'engagement paternel: (Version actualisé d'un résumé de donnés de recherche) (pdf 636kb)
    by Sarah Allen and Kerry Daly
    C'est la traduction francaise de The Effects of Father Involvement: An Updated Research Summary of the Evidence, par Sarah Allen et Kerry Daly. Cette document offre un aperçu actualisé des principales tendances qui se d'engagent des études publiques sur l'engagement paternel. Il ressort trés nettement des recherches que l'engagement paternel a des répercussions énormes sur les hommes et leur propre cheminement à l'age adulte, sur leur conjointe et leur partenaire dans leur relation de coparentalité et, surtout, sur leurs enfants et leur développement social, émotionnel, physique et cognitif.

  • Fatherhood and Culture (Moving Beyond Stereotypical Understandings) (external website)
    by Wayne Miller and Sarah Maiter
    This paper, published in the Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work (Vol. 17(3) 2008) discusses the need for social workers to expand on their contextual understanding of fatherhood roles given the increasing cultural diversity of North American families. The article examines recent studies of fathering in various cultures that challenge popular stereotypes of fathers. The authors suggest that a more expanded notion of diversity will allow practitioners to work effectively with fathers from diverse cultures.

  • Understanding the Roots of Mothers' Expectations for Fathers (pdf 1.22Mb)
    by Candice Wilson
    Although research in areas of father involvement, maternal gate-keeping and transition to parenthood all appear to agree that maternal beliefs and expectations are important predictors of paternal involvement in the home; there seems to be little research looking at where mothers' beliefs and expectations for fathers originate. Through interviews with new mothers, this study develops a model for understanding how maternal expectations develop, identifying two forms of mothers' expectations: Expressed Expectations and Enacted Expectations. The Expressed Expectations are influenced by Socio- Cultural Influences, while the Enacted Expectations are more in line with Family of Origin Influences. This model begins to explain why women may express one expectation and then react in a contradictory way when fathers act on those expressions. The model also indicates that the impact of immigration and acculturation can alter mothers' enacted expectations to be more closely aligned with the socio-cultural influences of the country to which they have immigrated rather than their family of origin.

  • Men and Mothering. (Paper based on Andrea Doucet's qualitative study of primary caregiver fathers.) (pdf 384kb)
    by Andrea Doucet
    This paper summarizes the salient findings and implications from Andrea Doucet's major qualitative study of primary caregiver fathers (stay-home fathers and single fathers) which are explored in greater detail in Dr. Doucet's book Do Men Mother? In this paper Dr. Doucet challenges the notion that the nurturing care that fathers engage in can or should be referred to as "mothering" and argues that mens' contributions to parenting will not be understood fully if looked at only through a maternal lens.

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