Outcomes of Father Involvement in Pregnancy and Birth

Authors

  • Joanne Nicholson Ph.D.,

    1. Joanne Nicholson is Program Director and Clinical Psychologist at YOU, Inc. in Worcester, Massachusetts
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  • Nancy Fohrell Gist M.A.,

    1. Ms. Gist and Dr. Klein are Research Psychologists at the Child and Family Research Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. tandley is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and Silver Spring, Maryland.
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  • Robert P. Klein Ph.D.,

    1. Ms. Gist and Dr. Klein are Research Psychologists at the Child and Family Research Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. tandley is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and Silver Spring, Maryland.
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  • Kay Standley Ph.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Ms. Gist and Dr. Klein are Research Psychologists at the Child and Family Research Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. tandley is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and Silver Spring, Maryland.
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*The National Institutes of Health, NICHD/CFRB, Building 31, Room B2B15, Bethesda, Maryland 20205.

ABSTRACT

: To test the assumption that father involvement in pregnancy and childbirth results in more positive birth and fathering experiences, 40 primiparous couples recruited from childbirth education classes and obstetricians were studied. About two weeks before their due dates each mother was asked to rate her marital closeness and her husband's interest in children. These couples were observed for one hour in mid-labor. Then mothers and fathers were interviewed about one week after the birth.

Fathers who were more involved in terms of their wives’ reports of prenatal marital closeness gave generally more positive reports of the delivery and the new baby. Fathers who were involved in terms of their wives’ estimates of their interest in children were rated by observers as interacting with their wives less during labor. (BIRTH 10:1, Spring 1983)

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