Fathers’Birth Attendance, Early Extended Contact, and Father-Infant Interaction at Five Months Postpartum


  • Rob Palkovitz Ph.D.

    1. Rob Palkovitz received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Rutgers University. He is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Sterling College, Sterling, KS 67579.
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ABSTRACT: Forty couples and their 5-month old infants were observed in their homes in a study of the relationships between fathers’birth attendance, early extended contact, and involvement with their babies at five months postpartum. Fathers who were excluded from the birth were more involved with their babies, in the presence of their wives, than were fathers who attended births. The three aspects of early extended contact that were found to be significantly associated with fathers’caregiving and social involvement at five months were time of first contact, length of first contact, and total hours fathers spent with children in the hospital. The implications for research and for policy concerning early father-infant contact are discussed.