- Adrienne BurgessThe Fatherhood Institute
- Rebecca GoldmanIndependent Researcher
- Dr. Jeremy DaviesFatherhood Institute
Despite growing research interest, fathers are still ‘missing figures’ in most UK family research. As a result, traditional gender roles risk being reinforced, with mothers overburdened with caregiving mothers responsibilities and fathers with earning. Failing to include fathers in the UK family research is likely to compromise health, education, and family services.
Between 2014-2017, the Nuffield Foundation funded the Fatherhood Institute to compile and critically review research on fathers and fatherhood. This original project, titled ‘Contemporary fathers in the UK’, published three influential reviews.
The Fatherhood Institute is now embarking on stage two of the project. This will involve:
- Systematically updating their Literature Library that categorises the UK research evidence on fatherhood and making this available to the wider research community.
- Undertaking two additional reviews, focusing on fathers in the post-natal period and on the links between fathering and child outcomes into young adulthood.
- Disseminating their research findings to provide an evidence-base for policy and public debates around fatherhood in the UK.
The Fatherhood Institute will also be working with BritainThinks to explore fathers’ and father figures’ experiences during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. The research will involve a survey of 2000 fathers and father figures with children aged 12 and under, some of them co-resident with their children full-time; others living separately from their child’s mother – Own Household Fathers (OHFs) – and who, before lockdown, engaged with their children face-to-face on a regular basis. In addition, 30 fathers will be asked to complete a three-week daily diary and a subset invited to take part in a short qualitative interview. This work will explore:
Father’s circumstances during, and experiences of, the coronavirus lockdown, including:
- Whether and how their working practices have changed.
- Whether and how their housework/childcare practices have changed.
- Whether and how father-child interactions have changed, where parents do not live together.
- How they are engaging with their children.
- Whether and how their partner’s working practices have changed.
- Division of work and childcare/ home schooling in the household – or between households where parents do not live together.
Father’s aspirations for work / home during and after the coronavirus lockdown, including:
- Desired changes to work / home routines.
- Desired changes to division of work at home.
- Opportunities for parents who do not live together to support each other as earners and carers.