Furthering Fathering: What We Know and What We Need to Know (Chapter 24 of APA Handbook of Men and Masculinities).

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McKelley, Ryan A.
Rochlen, Aaron B.
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The extent to which men are beginning to enact new, more flexible models of masculinity remains an empirical question. What we do know is that many men continue to adhere rigidly to traditional gender role ideologies, which have been consistently linked to a range of negative physical and psychological outcomes (Berger, Addis, Green, Mackowiak, & Goldberg, 2013; Levant & Richmond, 2007; O'Neil, 2008). Although these trends continue, there is one area of men’s lives where such changes have been visible, quantifiable, and widespread: fathering. Such shifts, the focus of the current chapter, are substantial, are meaningful, and warrant critical analysis. In consideration of the shifting landscape in parenting and the importance of the fathering, this chapter has several objectives. First, we aim to summarize the concept of fatherhood and father involvement, including relevant history, theory, and research. Next, we review what we know about how men are impacting children's lives through outcomes and processes of such interactions. This is followed by a detailed look at barriers to effective fathering, including men's mental health, substance abuse, and public policies. We then address the literature on parenting training and intervention. We end with a summary of the most salient limitations in an effort to guide further research. (Author abstract)

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