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Changing Roles Of Fatherhood in The Family

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The constatnt change of our society viwes it effects With the rise of the feminine movement it is becoming common for women wanting to continue twhat the common household roles are. From the very beginning women were known as the caretakers of the family and men as the breadwinners. With the rise of the feminine movement it is becoming common for women wanting to continue their education or staying in the workforce while having kid(s).This also shows to have an impact on male ideologies and their mindset regarding a men’s and women’s role in the relationship. There are still people who see it as unnatural for a father to take care of their children without their partner or as equal partners and even being stay at home fathers. Fatherhood has many assumptions made about it regarding a child’s upbringing and how they will grow up without and with a father figure. These changing views can make it harder for new fathers in discovering their place in an evolving society. The purpose of this paper is to understand fatherhood in the 21st century and how they contribute towards their children.

“In the 1980s, feminist thought began to influence the research field, and the assumptions about the father’s role expanded to include multiple aspects of parenting (Lamb, 2000)” feminism including the topic of father figures has made many realize what fatherhood is actually about. It has become a topic individuals deem easier to approach which expands the research and further understanding of the types of father involvement and the type of effects it has on children in every stage of their life- from milestones such as birthdays and graduations to low points in their life.

Contributing Factors

Views about what it entails to be a father and fatherhood roles are constructed over many years, starting in early childhood. Boys become fathers to boys who will become fathers in the future. There is very little knowledge of factors contributing to changes in the participation of a father in the lives of his child over time. Research suggests that the connections between fatherhood and childhood experiences are neither simple nor consistent across individuals. For example, fathers tend to parent more like their fathers than their mothers (Losh-Hesselbart, 1987), but few fathers—ironically, even those who tend to take less responsibility for their children—say they learned to parent from their own fathers (Hofferth, 1999).More than mothers, fathers have always been allowed discretion in determining their parental duties and responsibilities, and for this purpose it is especially important to understand that parental participation is rooted in their upbringing as children.

Without the presence of a father, kids grow up struggling through life. The role of a father is to provide support and positive interaction in their children’s lives, without these elements child loses the ability to fully experience life. Support in a child’s life is one of the key elements that shape the type of person that child will become in the culture.

Fathers Role

Fathering involves the repetition of nurturance, problem-solving, stress management, and displays of affection and aggression. Fathering is also embedded in work and community, Clearly, the meaning and practices of fatherhood are related to gender identity (Daly,Sarag and Allen Kerry, 1997) and to men’s experiences with their own fathers and other kin (Cowan & Cowan, 1987; Herzog, 1979). For example, men whose fathers were involved in raising them have been found to be more involved with their own children, to take more responsibility for them, to show more warmth, and to more closely monitor their behaviors and activities (Hofferth, 1999b). In addition, previous caretaking experience and non gender-stereotyped task assignments during childhood may increase the likelihood of father involvement during adulthood (Gerson, 1993; Pleck, 1997). Fathers with more identity equitable values seem to be more involved, responsible and warm and track the actions of their children more than do those with little gender-equitable values, although the effect of their participation would seem to rely on their child. Fathers play many roles inside the family and each of these positions is related to an action set of ideas.

In 1997, only about 11% of fathers in two-parent households had taken a formal parenting class although those who did tended to be more involved in their children’s developmental stages (Hofferth, 1999). Cultural and social changes have weakened the connection between masculinity and the expectation of responsible fatherhood (Marsiglio, 1998) another reason for fathers having a larger involvement in their children’s lives. These changing circumstances have led to a division of the adult male population into those who assume care of their children and those who do not. While some argue that fatherhood has ceased to be a normative expectation and has become a voluntary commitment, others argue that effective fatherhood is an essential quality of masculinity (Blankenhorn, 1995). Indeed, this debate will become more complex as development into the new century and continue to reshape the way men and women think and experience their procreative roles.

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Child Development

Traditional and generative models of male parenting do not consider the role that the child’s developmental stage plays in the development of fatherhood. As the child grows and develops, displaying a new set of developmental assets, the father is also developing and changing. The timing of fatherhood often determines the paths that fathering takes, as well as the management of related developmental tasks. Dramatic changes in family life over the last half-century have diversified the life course options for men to the extent that there no longer exists a tight link between the timing of employment and the timing of parenting in men’s lives. Neither is it certain whether, or for how long, men will reside with their children. The timing of fatherhood sets men on different life course trajectories depending on their own developmental stage. When young men become fathers, it is often unintentional, whereas for older men, having a child is most often an intended event. Although we know little about the relationship between men’s intentions toward fertility and paternal involvement, the existing evidence suggests that a father’s positive parenting may be strongly associated with whether the pregnancy was intended (Brown & Eisenberg, 1995). Unwanted and mistimed childbearing in two-parent households has been found to exert long-term effects on children’s self-esteem, suggesting that parents may be less involved and supportive with children whose birth was unintended (Axinn, Barber, & Thornton, 1998). These findings, however, may vary as a function of psychological and economic resources, as well as social support. Certainly, adolescent parenting seems to be associated with higher risk for children, whereas older men seem to deal with parenthood better (Coley & Chase-Lansdale, 1998).

What the role entails

A father should have social, emotional, spiritual and mental balance of support because it is one of the key elements that set the foundation for development in a child. The best and simplest thing for the development of a child is the mere positive interaction from his/her father. There is a commonly used idiom that originated in Jamaica in the early 18th century “monkey see monkey do”. That is one of the main sources in which a child improves or disapproves his or her behaviour. If a child sees his father kissing his mother, which is a monkey seeThe child then by nature is going to miic that action, which is a monkey do.

The positive interaction of fathers set up children to “better school performance, less trouble with law, better jobs and careers, better relationships with others and higher self esteem(LeFebvre, 2007). It not only benefits the child, but it also benefits the father because it provides the father with opportunities to display affection and to nurture their child. Involved fathers are more likely to see their interactions with their children positively but become more attentive to the child’s development, better understanding, and more accepting of their child (Daly, Sarag and Allen Kerry, 1997). The one to one interaction between the child and father benefits them both into becoming healthier people.

Father involvement that dominated scholarship in the 1970s and 1980s has yielded to broader and more inclusive definitions (Lamb, 2000 Palkovitz, 1997). For example, Lamb, Pleck, Charnov, and Levine (1985, 1987) urged researchers to distinguish among accessibility, a father’s presence and availability to the child, regardless of the actual interactions between father and child; engagement, a father’s experience of direct contact, caregiving, and shared interactions with his child; and responsibility, a father’s participation in such tasks as selecting a pediatrician and making appointments, selecting child care settings or babysitters, arranging after school care and the care of sick children, talking with teachers, and monitoring children’s whereabouts and activities (Lamb, 2000).

Connection With The Child

The support of the father does not only shape the future of the child, but it also establishes an in depth connection between father and child. Without that connection a dad loses sight of what is occurring in his kid;s life. For example in Rhodes essay she mentions, “Dads are supposed to be there for the good times and in the bad (Rhodes, 2010). The lack of emotional support with a child leads to a father being oblivious to his child’s personality because he wasn’t there to see the emotions being let out during different situations. “Children living with another married mother are more likely to have interviewed for emotional problems”(Rhodes, 2010). That is a great reason why support on the father is needed, kids shouldn’t have to have emotional problems because it takes a toll on the way they behave in society. The emotional and social support of a father benefits the youth in a mass aspect. for example, “ father involvement is positively correlated with children Provo Social competence, social initiative, and capacity for relating with others(Daly,Sarag and Allen Kerry , 1997)

As we approach the end of the twentieth century, social changes are forcing adjustments in fathers, mothers, and families. We have seen an evolution of father ideals from the colonial father, to the distant breadwinner, to the modern involved dad, to the father as co parent (Pleck & Pleck, 1997).


Features and functions of family life are rapidly changing in the face of four prominent social trends: increased female employment, increased father absence, increased father involvement, and increased cultural diversity. These changes have led to different family structures as well as to different expectations and beliefs about the roles of fathers. Participation of women in the labor force will likely continue to rise during the next century. The extent of father involvement and responsibility in child care is also likely to increase. As men become integral to domestic and child rearing activities, they will be more responsible for the organization and planning of their children’s lives and the definition of what the title entails changes as well. The absence of fathers support and positive interaction damages the development of children. Without support children culvate emotional and social problems that lead to social incompetence and social immaturity, which takes a toll on them from a young age. Negative interactions cause them to make bad decisions that their fathers did as well. Men are becoming more involved in their children’s lives which has positive effects. The years go by and the role of a father is forever changing.


  1. Bach, G. R. (1946). Father-fantasies and father-typing in father-separated children. Child Development, 17(1/2), 63-80. doi:10.2307/3181742
  2. Lamb, M. E. (2000). The history of research on father involvement: An overview. Marriage and Family Review, 29(2/3), 23-42.
  3. Hofferth, S. L. (1999). Child Care, Maternal Employment, and Public Policy. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 563(1), 20-38. doi:10.1177/000271629956300102
  4. Dunham, S M., Dermer, S. B., & Carlson, J. (2011). Poisonous parenting: Toxic relationships between parents and their adult children.Routledge.
  5. Vermillion, 1997 .Daly,Sarag and Allen Kerry. The Effects of Fatherhood involvement: An Updated Research summary of the Evidence.
  6. Ontario: University of Guelph, 2007 . LeFebvre, Joan E. Why Fathers Are Important, 31 January 2012
  7. Remez, L. “Children Who Don’t Live with Both Parents Face Behavioural Problems.” Family Planning Perspectives (1992).
  8. Rhodes, Ashley. “Fatherhood is Essential.” Repetto, Jane E. Arron and Ellen Kuhl. The Compact Reset. Springfield: bedford/St. Martins, 2010. 259-21

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