Fatherhood transforms bad behaviour

April 29, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Fatherhood can transform anti-social young men into responsible citizens, according to new research commissioned by Victoria's Institute of Policy Studies.

Dr Gareth Rouch studied a large group of fathers in the Wairarapa region, and found becoming fathers had transformed their lives.

The study looked at men who had all grown up in working-class families during the 1980s and 90s whose families were most affected by the widespread during that time. Prior to having children many of the men saw no economic future for themselves, and made little effort to get job skills or integrate with mainstream society.

"One of the subjects even went as far as saying that when he was a teenager he expected to be dead by the time he was 20, so saw no point in looking ahead to the future," says Dr Rouch.

All the men indicated that fatherhood changed their attitudes to the world.

"It made them see the value in taking up work, acquiring job skills and improving their lifestyle," says Dr Rouch.

"They were committed to doing the best for their children, and were open about the deep emotional bond they had with them."

Dr Rouch says that by becoming fathers these men obtained a social status, a role, and a sense of their potential social capital as men who worked, supported their family, and engaged in a network of loving relationships.

"This has policy implications, as it is critical that any intervention in helping these men into work takes place during the early period of fatherhood when their self-concept as a bone fide member of society is still relatively novel to them.

"Helping them to find employment will reduce the economic pressure on these families, which in turn promotes the wellbeing of their children."

The research paper has been published on the Institute of Policy Studies website ips.ac.nz/publications/publications/list/7

Explore further: Male opinions of paternity issues studied

Related Stories

More Men Tackle Household Tasks

March 7, 2008

American men are helping with chores and child care more than ever, a trend that ultimately contributes to healthier marriages, according to a researcher at the University of California, Riverside.

When Mom Dates, Dad Stops Visiting His Kids

August 3, 2009

New research from the Journal of Marriage and Family shows that children born outside of marriage are less likely to be visited by their father when the mother is involved in a new romantic relationship. Many children born ...

Back to work policies need gender awareness

February 3, 2010

UK programmes designed to help the unemployed get back to work and support young parents are losing impact because they are not designed with the participants' gender in mind. Men as well as women can lose out as a result ...

Recommended for you

French teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth (Update)

July 28, 2015

A 16-year-old French volunteer archaeologist has found an adult tooth dating back around 560,000 years in southwestern France, in what researchers hailed as a "major discovery" Tuesday.

The couple who Facebooks together, stays together

July 27, 2015

Becoming "Facebook official" is a milestone in modern romance, and new research suggests that activities on the popular social networking site are connected to whether those relationships last.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.