Fatherhood Institute Main Research Summary: the Costs and Benefits of Active Fatherhood

23 August 2008

The Fatherhood Institute’s extensive review of international evidence about the costs and benefits of active fatherhood can help inform the development of policy and practice.

Why this Research Review?

The Research Review we present here has been compiled out of the realization that, in many policy areas, failure by policy makers and practitioners to address fathers’ behaviour and concerns results in less than adequate provision for mothers and children. What is clear to us, is that the impact fathers have on their families, and, in particular, on their children – an impact that is sometimes positive and sometimes negative – is, in the main, going unrecognized. This Review is an attempt to fill this gap.

Content of this Research Review

• Section 1 – Active Fatherhood in Context – sets the scene
• Section 2 – Rationale and Research Issues – addresses key research issues, including the research base for this Review
• Section 3 – Fathers in the Perinatal Period and Section 4 – Fathers’ Roles in Child Development look at fathers’ contributions, (mainly in two parent families) to the social, emotional and cognitive development, the education and achievement, and the physical health of the children in their care, from infancy, through elementary school age, to adolescence, young adulthood and – in a few instances – to middle age.
• Section 5 – Fathers and Family Change focuses on children whose parents do not live together, although much of the research in the previous section is also relevant here.
• Section 6 – Vulnerable Fathers and their Children and Section 7 – Working with Vulnerable Fathers – explores fathers’ roles and professionals’ engagement with them in families facing severe deprivation or multiple challenges.
• Section 8 – Fathers, Mothers, Work and Family looks at issues relating to gender equity and child wellbeing
• Section 9 – Fathering the Future briefly considers active fatherhood and community development, and fathering (and grandfathering) in older age.

Policy and practice recommendations

We have derived a substantial programme of policy recommendations based on the evidence and insights afforded by this Review. These are subject to change; and are therefore not included in the pdf of the Research Review itself.

To read the Review, right click on The Costs and Benefits of Active Fatherhood under RELATED DOCUMENTS (below), choose ‘Save Target As . . .’ and the pdf should download quickly.

Costs and Benefits of Active Fatherhood

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