First-time fathers needed for study on adjusting to parenthood

baby and father

Postnatal depression is more commonly associated with mothers, but it can also affect fathers.

A new Griffith University study aims to examine the challenges first-time fathers face and the factors that help promote a positive adjustment to the new role of fatherhood.

Lead researcher and PhD candidate Stacey Bernardin from Griffith’s School of Applied Psychology says there’s been little research on understanding the different needs of first-time fathers and their unique experiences.

“This is the first study to look at the relationship between social factors and paternal adjustment including at potential explanations as to why some men appear to adjust more positively to their new role as fathers and others do not,” she said.

“Given that fathers play a pivotal role in the family dynamic and are also increasingly expected to be hands-on in child-rearing, it is becoming more and more important that we understand how best to support them in their role as fathers.

“Fathers are often equally as important as mothers in facilitating child development and wellbeing, therefore research in this area is crucial if we are to promote and support healthy families in Australia.”

The study will expand current understanding of how the challenges and sources of support change throughout the transition to, and during the 10 months after first-time fatherhood.

The researchers are looking for first-time fathers aged 18 years or older, have pregnant partners entering 25-35 weeks of pregnancy and are expecting single births.

Find out more about the study

Media contact: Deborah Marshall, 0413 156 601, d.marshall@griffith.edu.au