This chapter discusses the current status, role and function of men as fathers. Therapeutic workers retain concepts involving fathers as family figurehead, protector and disciplinarian despite being aware of significant changes in the social environment. The fathers themselves, however, were increasingly questioning a social process by which their previously known roles were being 'de-constructed' without a clearly defined set of replacement expectations. Fathers, especially those who were strongly committed to their responsibilities within the family, were nevertheless struggling to come to terms with many aspects or dimensions of their lived experience of fatherhood.
Acknowledging the fact that men are engaged in a difficult process of redefining and reconstructing fatherhood and offering them an opportunity to explore their reactions to the changes inherent in the process may go a long way towards enhancing therapeutic engagement. Further research is underway to assist in defining a research-based model of healthy fatherhood.
- Nursing literature
- Fatherhood and social change
- What do professionals say?
- What do fathers say?
- Eight dimensions of fatherhood
- Clinical practice