An intervention to increase father involvement and skills with infants during the transition to parenthood

J Fam Psychol. 2006 Sep;20(3):438-47. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.20.3.438.


This study examined whether a group educational intervention during the transition to parenthood can enhance the quality of father-child interaction and increase father involvement with their children. A randomized experimental design was used to evaluate an 8-session program with 165 couples who were first-time parents, beginning during the second trimester of pregnancy and ending at 5 months postpartum. Outcomes were assessed with time diaries, coded observations of parent-child play, and self-reports of fathers and mothers. The intervention had positive effects on fathers' skills in interacting with their babies and their involvement on work days but not home days. It is concluded that a relatively brief intervention during the transition to parenthood can improve fathering, and possible reasons for differential effects on areas of parenting are explored.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Father-Child Relations*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Parents / education*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Paternal Behavior*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Support