Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 27–32

Psychosocial assessment of expectant fathers

Original contribution

DOI: 10.1007/s00737-008-0211-6

Cite this article as:
Fletcher, R., Vimpani, G., Russell, G. et al. Arch Womens Ment Health (2008) 11: 27. doi:10.1007/s00737-008-0211-6


Background: Comprehensive antenatal psychosocial assessment of mothers prior to the birth is established in many regions. While the influence of fathers on infant and maternal well-being is also recognised as commencing before birth, the early identification of needs among expectant fathers has not been addressed.

Methods: The current study surveyed fathers attending antenatal classes in public and private hospitals (n = 307) in New South Wales, Australia, using psychosocial questions derived from the questions commonly asked in assessments of mothers.

Results: The most frequent responses suggest that fathers, at the time of the birth, have needs in regard to their ability to cope with the stresses of new parenthood and the skills and knowledge to care for their new baby.

Limitations: Conclusions from the study are limited in their application to the population of expectant fathers by the low response rate and the low numbers of low-income, ethnic-background, and indigenous fathers in the sample.

Conclusion: Assessment of fathers by psychosocial questions similar to mothers is advised to detect fathers who may require assistance and parenting education for fathers in infant care.

Keywords: Fathers; psychosocial support; postpartum depression

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Fletcher
    • 1
  • G. Vimpani
    • 2
  • G. Russell
    • 3
  • D. Sibbritt
    • 2
  1. 1.Family Action CentreUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  2. 2.School of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyMacquarie UniversityNorth RideAustralia