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Fathers, Fatherhood Programming, and Research Concerning the Effects of Responsible Fatherhood Interventions

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Objective: In this paper, we suggest that father involvement plays a significant role in the lives of fathers, children, and health and there is a need to expand research and evaluation on responsible fatherhood programs to assess the effects of fatherhood programming on families and society. Methods: We point to data that confirm the importance of fathers, provide an overview of funding for fatherhood programming, and provide summaries of relevant research that has examined the effects of responsible fatherhood interventions. Results: We ask researchers and practitioners to think about the benefits of responsible fatherhood programs and how best to demonstrate that such programs do, in fact, have long-term impacts on quality of life for fathers and their children. However, we also note that changes in outcome variables that are statistically significant and may even have a large effect size do not necessarily produce substantial long-term impact on quality of life. Conclusion: Responsible fatherhood programs can play a vital role in the health and success of children, fathers, and communities. Researchers should engage in rigorous evaluation of fatherhood programs to add data to the field related to the effect of these programs and father involvement.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Public Health, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, United States 2: Center for Evidence-Based Programming, South Padre Island, TX, United States.

Publication date: March 1, 2022

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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