Voices of Fatherhood: A Qualitative Study


Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project


Len Jennings; Jean M. Birbilis


This qualitative study highlights experiences of actively involved fathers to answer these research questions: How do fathers conceptualize their role as a father? How do fathers perceive society’s definition of ‘father’? Seven actively involved fathers were interviewed. Data analysis suggests that the actively involved fathers who participated in this study are constantly growing individuals with a deep appreciation for learning how to be a good father. These fathers may also be thoughtful about how they interact with and influence their children, hoping to build for them a better life so their children can be their best selves. These fathers shared that they believe they exceed society’s expectations of what it means to be a father and they call for higher expectations and yet, may still feel subject to society’s stereotypes of father as the back-up parent. What society may not see is that actively involved fathers are working hard for their children and likely need support from other actively involved fathers. These fathers can help counseling psychologists understand the pressures and discrimination facing their clients who are fathers. It also helps counseling psychologists understand the core meaning for these men: their children. This study contributes the necessary voices of a marginalized group of men to the research base on fathers.


fathers, roles

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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