The experience of fathers in dual-earner families following the births of their first infants

Authors

  • W. Hall RN MSN

    1. Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, 2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouper, British Columbia V6T 2B5, Canada
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Abstract

This study explores the experience of fathers in dual-earner families following the births of their first infants. The grounded theory method was used to collect, code, compare and contrast data gathered in interviews with 10 men. The fathers indicated that they viewed their return to a dual-earner lifestyle as a process of redefining roles. Redefining roles was influenced by four basic life resources and two sets of value systems and occurred in the context of needs which were either met or unmet. The basic life resources and value systems not only influenced family members' needs, but also the two basic strategies which the men used in redefining their roles. First, the men monitored role strain and, second, they limited role strain. Each of these strategies evolved from the central concept of redefining roles. The consequences of redefining roles included effects on marital intactness, family members' health and family members' satisfaction. Redefining roles has implications for nurses who work with men in dual-earner families. As first-time fathers assume multiple roles and struggle with redefining their roles, nurses can offer anticipative and concurrent guidance.

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