New Fatherhood: Myths and Realities


  • Wendy A. Hall R.N., M.S.N.

    Corresponding author
    1. Wendy A. Hall is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia School of Nursing, Vancouver.
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence to Wendy A. Hall, Univ. of British Columbia, School of Nursing, T-206 2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T2B5.


Abstract Despite evidence for the existence of nurturing fathers, little is known about how and why men increase their involvement with their children. The qualitative study from which these findings were taken explored the experience of 10 Canadian fathers in dual-earner families after the birth of their first infants. The constant comparative method was used to generate a grounded theory explicating the men's process of redefining their roles as spouses, workers, and fathers. Findings from 20 semi-structured interviews conducted with a purposive sample of fathers in their homes revealed that the fathers' experiences consisted of coping with many demands from children, partners, and jobs. These men redefined their roles as fathers after their partners returned to full-time employment. Two stages of monitoring role strain and limiting role strain captured the variation in behavior. This study contributes to community health nurses' understanding of how men respond to the lack of concurrence among societal expectations, others' expectations, and their own realities of fatherhood.