Systematic Review of Father Involvement and Child Outcomes in Pediatric Chronic Illness Populations

Abstract

The overall objective of this paper was to systematically review and synthesize the emerging literature investigating the role of father involvement in pediatric outcomes among chronic illness populations. This review sought to answer the following questions: (1) what measures are used to assess father involvement in pediatric chronic illness populations, and who is the respondent, and (2) how is father involvement associated with child psychosocial and health related outcomes in pediatric chronic illness populations? Databases were searched using a key word search strategy. Articles were screened according to exclusion criteria, resulting in 15 identified articles that included a pediatric illness population, and assessed both father involvement and a child outcome variable. Qualitative analysis revealed that several measures have been used to assess father involvement in pediatric chronic illness populations. As a whole, the majority of findings indicate that better outcomes are associated with more father involvement in illness and non-illness related activities, and higher father–child relationship quality. Contradictory findings may be due to the quality of the involvement being assessed, or the possibility that father’s become more involved with illness tasks in response to their child’s poorer health outcomes. Future research should include the development and use of psychometrically sound measures of father involvement and employ more diverse samples with rigorous methodology.

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Correspondence to Sara E. Taylor.

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Taylor, S.E., Fredericks, E.M., Janisse, H.C. et al. Systematic Review of Father Involvement and Child Outcomes in Pediatric Chronic Illness Populations. J Clin Psychol Med Settings 27, 89–106 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-019-09623-5

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Keywords

  • Father involvement
  • Pediatric
  • Chronic illness
  • Systematic review