Role expectations among first time expectant fathers: An exploratory study

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Leslie Stanley-Stevens
Rudy Ray Seward


This study explores how expectant fathers conceptualize the role of father and how the domains of the role shape men's attitudes and decision-making processes regarding work and family life. Twenty-five first time expectant fathers were surveyed via a questionnaire regarding their thoughts about work and family in the spring of 2000. Fourteen of those fathers agreed to also be interviewed. All of the men held the concept of "breadwinner" as the highest priority regarding roles for fathers. The majority of men expressed the belief that childcare and domestic duties should be shared equally if both parents worked full time. However, the interviews revealed that only 2 of the 14 actually put those beliefs into action, describing truly egalitarian households.

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