Transition to fatherhood: A cross-cultural comparison

Dragonas, T., Thorpe, K., & Golding, J. (1992) Transition to fatherhood: A cross-cultural comparison. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 13(1), pp. 1-19.

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A prospective study was conducted of fathers' transition to parenthood from mid-pregnancy to 6 weeks postpartum. The subjects were 198 fathers from Greece (Athens) and 142 from Britain (Bristol). Social class, age and parity distributions were similar between the two populations. The culture and social structure experienced by each varied widely, however, and was a focus of interest. Two major themes in fatherhood across the two populations were explored: first, the father's instrumental role in provision of emotional and practical support to his partner and care for his child; and second the father's emotional reaction to his partner's pregnancy, the birth of his child and early parenthood. In both cultures fathers reported that they took an active instrumental role in supporting their partner and in participating in childcare. Markedly more British fathers attended the delivery. There were no overall differences in the degree to which fathers participated in childcare though the nature of this participation varied. British fathers more commonly took on housework duties. During their partner's pregnancy Greek fathers experienced significantly higher malaise than their British counterparts and also reported feeling that they had less social support. Common to many fathers in both cultures during this time were fears that their partner might change or be damaged by the pregnancy. After the birth, there was no difference in emotional well-being between the Greek and British fathers. Reactions to fatherhood and enjoyment of the child were similar for the two cultures also. Patterns of correlation between variables both within and across the antenatal and postnatal time periods were, for the most part, similar for the two cultures. Social support, however, was found to relate to father's emotional and instrumental reaction to parenthood only in the case of the British sample. Findings are discussed in terms of each culture's point on the continuum of social change.

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ID Code: 90959
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.3109/01674829209016702
ISSN: 1743-8942 (on-line)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 15 Dec 2015 23:03
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2015 23:03

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