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Increasing Fathers’ Involvement in Child Care With a Couple-Focused Intervention During the Transition to Parenthood


*Alan J. Hawkins is a Professor in the school of Family Life at Brigham Young University, 2050 JFSB, Provo, UT 84602 (

Kimberly R. Lovejoy is a homemaker and family life educator, 4633 Cadmus Drive, Columbus, OH 43228 (

Erin K. Holmes is an Assistant Professor in the shcool of Family Life at Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (

Victoria L. Blanchard is a graduate research assistant in Marriage, Family, & Human Development, Brigham Young University, 2086A JFSB, Provo, UT 84602 (

Elizabeth Fawcett is a marriage and family therapist and adjunct assistant professor, Brigham Young University, 2760 E 3185 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84109 (


Abstract: In this article, we report the results of an evaluation study of a program for couples during the transition to parenthood on father involvement in child care. One-hundred-twenty couples were assigned to 1 of the 3 groups: a treatment group that received the Welcome Baby new-parent, home-visiting program focused on infant development and health, supplemented with the self-guided Marriage Moments program focused on strengthening couple relationships; a comparison group that received just the Welcome Baby program; or a control group. The study revealed that the treatment group fathers were more involved in child care than control group fathers, and this finding was replicated in a second evaluation study. Family life educators must be open to the possibility that they may miss a primary intervention target, yet hit a secondary one.