Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Diedre Drake

Second Advisor

Dr Diane McKillop

Abstract

Seven non-resident fathers who were supporting their children from a previous relationship were interviewed to elicit their views on the fairness of current contact and CS arrangements. Most fathers were committed to their parental role and had contact with their children at least every second weekend. Fair contact was that which was flexible around their paid work commitments. Unfair contact was that which was limited by the children's mother. Most fathers viewed their CS as excessive and some had negotiated lower CS than that mandated by legislation. Several fathers wanted a say in how their CS was spent. Some fathers did not believe their CS should rise in line with increases in their earnings. Views that reflected limited financial support for their children may indicate, for some men, the primacy of their identification with their occupational role, consistent with a traditional view of masculinity and appropriate gender roles for men and women. It is suggested that adherence to a traditional gender role ideology may interfere with non-resident fathers' re-negotiation of their parental role with regard to contact with their children. As well, adherence to such an ideology may lead some fathers to exert their power to reduce the children's financial support. In either case, the children's welfare may be put at risk.

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