Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Heath, Anthony

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Human and Family Resources


Fathers--Psychology; Fatherhood--Psychological aspects


The focus of this study is an exploration into the experiences of expectant and early post-partum fathers. The father is noticeably absent in our images of pregnancy and childrearing. Although there has been an abundant amount of research on physical and emotional issues surrounding a woman's pregnancy, few researchers have addressed the needs, concerns, and changes that face the expectant father. As men become more and more involved in prenatal classes and delivery, as is now becoming the norm, it is more apparent that men need support in parenting. A qualitative approach was used to explore the experiences of expectant and early post-partum fathers. Informants included volunteers from a hospital-run prenatal class, a Lamaze class, and the author's own husband. The format of the interviews consisted of questions using an emergent design. The author's own experience during her pregnancy was incorporated into the study. The most surprising result was the discrepancy between how the men in this study felt about being nurturing toward their own children and how they felt society viewed nurturant men. The comments of these men led the author to conclude that expectant and early post-partum fathers do experience a developmental change The study has applicable value to professionals working with expectant and early post-partum fathers. Fathers, as well as mothers, may gain some insight into what transpires during the period leading up to fatherhood.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [92]-95)


100 pages




Northern Illinois University

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