Few early parent education programs available to dads: study
CHICAGO, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Despite the accumulating evidence for the benefits of father involvement in child raising, few perinatal parent educational programs have included dads, a University of Michigan (UM) study found.
The researchers reviewed 21 out of 1,353 studies, and found very small number of early parent education programs available to fathers. Moreover, the majority of the programs lacked evidence of being effective.
For father-inclusive parent education programs, the study found that some of them were linked to increases in father involvement, co-parenting relationships, partner relationship quality, father's mental health and father's supportive behaviors.
"Research suggests that men typically rely on women for parenting knowledge and thus could benefit from encouragement to participate directly in programs and health care visits," said Joyce Lee, the study's lead author and a UM doctoral student in social work and psychology.
"This disparity in service likely hinders men's involvement in important pregnancy and childbirth-related decisions," said Lee.
Previous studies show that it's important to involve fathers in children's lives as early as possible to promote children's health and well-being. When dads participate in caretaking and activities, such as reading and active play, it supports children's development of vocabulary and positive social skills, among other things.