Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

Abstract

According to critical life events framework, the transition to parenthood can be filled with anticipation and excitement, yet it can be extremely difficult for some. The transition to parenthood begins during pregnancy when the parents begin to form emotional bonds with the unborn child, and continues for some time after the birth of the baby, ending when the infant reaches two years of age. There exists a vast amount of research on the experiences of the female transition, but there is little in comparison about the experiences of the male transition to becoming a father for the first time. The aim of this research was to investigate the experiences of first time fathers in Perth, Western Australia, in the 21st century. Using thematic content analysis, interviews with five first time fathers aged between 25 and 38 (M = 31, SD = 6.12), with infants aged between 2 and 20 months (M = 8.8, SD = 8.23) were conducted. Whilst there is a deficiency in current empirical evidence on the transitional experience of first time fathers in Western Australia, the data revealed aspects of fatherhood that are traditionally ignored. This revelation is two-fold in benefit, in that it acknowledges and adds meaning to the male perspective in child rearing, and adds to the body of literature outside other countries such as the United States of America. This research may aid health care professionals gain a better understanding of the issues faced by first time fathers, and identifies the need for improvement in current education and information packages assisting first time fathers with their transition to fatherhood.

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