Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Lisbeth Pike

Abstract

At the beginning of the 21st century, the face of fatherhood is a dynamic and complex reality. The aim of this study was to explore father's perceptions regarding their own experiences during the transition to fatherhood. More specifically, this study aimed at exploring the adjustment to fatherhood and the resources and support systems that the fathers utilised in managing their adjustment to fatherhood. A qualitative research design, specifically an approach based on grounded theory was employed. A total often white Caucasian fathers, with own biological children under the age of five participated in this study and were interviewed using a set of semi-structured questions to assess the elements of the research questions. The interview was recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic content analysis. A total of four dominant themes and nine sub-themes were identified: (1) perceptions about being and becoming a father (role perception, adjustment, influences); (2) father-child interaction (child- management issues and concerns, family-work conflict); (3) relationships (family, social networks); (4) resources and support systems (resources and support currently used, resources required). The findings provide insight into the experiences and the certain changes that the fathers experienced during their transition to fatherhood. Furthermore, this study contributes towards the understanding of how to effectively engage and empower men during their transition to fatherhood and to the development of programs that cater to the needs, strengths and personal development of fathers.

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