Barriers to fatherhood involvement: a secondary analysis
The purpose of this secondary analysis research was to provide some insight on barriers that impede a father’s ability to be an active parent. The study found that co-parenting, perception of fathers, and gender bias were all factors that affected father involvement in some way. The original data were collected through the use of self-administered surveys as well as participation in focus groups. Overall, there were 37 fathers who participated in the study, all of whom were also mandated participants in a parenting class. In the survey portion of the study, half of the participants, 54.5% defined co-parenting as equally dividing responsibilities with the mother of their children. Other major findings of this study indicated that court involvement has a strong influence on how fathers co-parent and remain involved in their children’s lives. Another result discussed a difference in the treatment of fathers as opposed to mothers by the courts due to the perceptions about men and their role as fathers. Despite the differential treatment by the court system, fathers in this study did not feel they were treated any differently by female social workers compared to male social workers. According to the participants, the gender of the worker did not appear to matter in terms of case management outcomes.