What makes an absent, uninvolved father change his behavior and take on his paternal responsibilities--physically, emotionally, and financially? This is a complex question to answer. It is the American way to admire a man's ability to rise above his demons as an extraordinary act of will, a triumph for the individual. But how and why individual fathers change their behavior is rarely that simple. The path from uninvolved to involved father is seldom a straight line from A to B along which a father travels, propelled by his own individual will power. Peer pressure plays an enormously powerful role, as do religious leaders, community programs, and corporate culture. But so, too, do larger social norms. (Author abstract).
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