What are the Parenting Experiences of Fathers? The Use of Household Survey Data to Inform Decisions About the Delivery of Evidence-Based Parenting Interventions to Fathers
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- Sanders, M.R., Dittman, C.K., Keown, L.J. et al. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev (2010) 41: 562. doi:10.1007/s10578-010-0188-z
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Participants were 933 fathers participating in a large-scale household survey of parenting practices in Queensland Australia. Although the majority of fathers reported having few problems with their children, a significant minority reported behavioral and emotional problems and 5% reported that their child showed a potentially problematic level of oppositional and defiant behavior. Reports of child problems were associated with fathers’ levels of personal stress and socioeconomic disadvantage. Approximately half of all fathers reported the use of one or more coercive parenting strategies (shouting and yelling, hitting the child with their hand or with an object) with fathers’ use of hitting being associated with child behavior difficulties. Fathers reported low rates of help seeking or participation in parenting courses, with socially disadvantaged fathers being less likely to complete parenting programs than other fathers. Implications for research on increasing fathers’ participation rates in parenting programs are discussed and directions for future research highlighted.