What makes for a good teen fatherhood program? The timing of fatherhood is a powerful organizer of the paternal role. Early entry into fatherhood is a non-normative event and often accelerates role transitions. Even before they become fathers, teen fathers are a particularly vulnerable group of males whose family backgrounds and life-stressors tend to differ from older men and men who do not become fathers during adolescence. For many years, teen fathers were either overlooked or blamed for their role in teen pregnancy. However, interest in designing programs to reduce teen pregnancy, and to enhance outcomes for babies and children as well as meet the needs of this vulnerable population has increased in recent years. To date, few teen fatherhood programs have been evaluated and even fewer have undergone rigorous (i.e., experimental) evaluations. Fortunately, much can be learned from examining program practices across those existing teen fatherhood programs that have adhered to specific rigorous evaluation research criteria as are described below. This report identifies ten characteristics of "model" and "promising" teen fatherhood programs using rigorous evaluation criteria. (Author abstract)
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