First-time fathers study explores challenges of parenthood

Initial results from a Griffith Universitystudy on first-time fathers suggest dads have unique needs in comparison to mothers including during the antenatal period.

Led by PhD candidate Stacey Bernardin from the School of Applied Psychology, the New Dads Project aims to examine the challenges first-time fathers face.

“We know they have unique experiences and further analysis will enable us to determine what factors contribute to men’s positive adjustment to fatherhood, with the intention of promoting healthy families in Australia,” she says.

“There’s scant research on understanding the different needs of first-time fathers and their unique experiences.

“This is the first study to look at the relationship between social factors and paternal adjustment including at potential explanations as to why some men appear to adjust more positively to their new role as fathers and others do not.”

She said as fathers play a pivotal role in the family dynamic and are also increasingly expected to be hands-on in child-rearing, it is becoming more important to support them in their role as new dads.

“Fathers are often equally as important as mothers in facilitating child development and wellbeing, so research in this area is crucial.”

The researchers are looking for first-time fathers aged 18 years or older, having a baby with a first-time mother, with no birth or pregnancy-related complications.

Fathers are invited to share their experience of transitioning to fatherhood for the first time, including personal statements about things that have been most important for them during their journey.

Participate in the research