Involved Fathering and Men's Adult Development is an interdisciplinary book that synthesizes theoretical, empirical, and anecdotal writings from different fields and provides an analysis of extensive interviews with 40 fathers. Along with the exploration of the distinct contribution that fathers make to their children's development, the author pursues the parallel theme of the effect this involvement has on the fathers' own development in adulthood.
This book will provide its readers with a realistic and useful beginning point to bring a synthesis of developmental theories, family studies perspectives, and men's insights about fathering that will enhance our academic understanding of fathering and adult development. This book can also spark reflective and practical application for fathers and families, whether readers are academicians, practitioners, policymakers, or fathers in the trenches.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. Part I: Foundations for Understanding Fathering and Development. The Effects of Parenting on Adult Development: What the Theories and Data Tell Us. A Research Plan: Forty Fathers, Their Situations, and What They Can Tell Us. Men's Construction of the Fathering Role: Balancing the Demands of What It Means to Be a Dad Today. Fathering and the Life Course. Part II: The Self Domain. Navigating the Emotional Currents of Fathering. Faith of Our Fathers: The Relationships Between Involved Fathering and Men's Faith, Morality, and Values. Fathering and Perceived Changes in Health. Part III: The Social Domain. Being a Father and Being a Husband: The Effects of Fathering on Intimate Relationships. Fathers in Families: The Effects of Engaged Fatherhood on Relationships With Relatives. The Social World of Fathers: Friends and Community Involvement. Part IV: The Work Domain. Provisional Balances: The Effects of Fathering on Work and Career Development. Part V: Summary, Evaluations, and Applications. Costs-Benefits Analyses. Provisional Balances Revisited. Appendices: Interview Schedule. Biographical Sketches of Study Participants.
"The mix of qualitative and quantitative methods utilized in the study offer innovative approaches to fathers' individual development. Primarily, Palkovitz draws upon qualitative interviews with forty men who vary by class, race/ethnicity, and age. He uses various sensitizing concepts (such as generativity, balance, even costs and benefits) to guide his protocol questions...In summary, this book stands alongside previously-noted seminal studies as one of the few benchmark studies of men's adult development as related to fatherhood. We can learn a great deal about both adults and children by asking men-not just other family members-about men's involvement in families. This point may appear obvious, but Palkovitz uses an innovative approach to allow fathers to define their own parenting experiences, in their own words. He garners rich descriptions and deep insights from many men. As men reflect and discuss, we see the process of fathering unfold, even in the most unexpected parts of the book, such as the cost-benefits discussion."
"How are men changed by their parenthood? How is fatherhood incorporated into the other parts of a man's life? Such enormously important quetions have only recently become the subject of serious research. In Involved Fathering and Men's Adult Development Rob Palkovitz provides engaging and convincing answers to these questions while also addressing Erikson's developmental issue of generativity (the ability to care for the next generation). He examines fatherhood in its vast complexity, revealing how men experience parenthood, and also how it changes their lives"
—Journal of Marriage and Family
"Involved Fathering and Men's Adult Development deserves to be required reading for developmental family studies courses. Marriage and family therapy classes would find the book useful in gaining an understanding of the complexities of the roles men have and the choices they make. Men in counseling could benefit from reading the book to see that they are not alone in their struggle to place fathering, the family, work, friends,and community in balance withing their lives. I highly recommend this book to all."
—The Family Journal
"Anyone wanting to have a good understanding of how fathers think about their efforts to be involved fathers will come away with a wealth of ideas and examples from reading this book. It will make an exceptional textbook for classes on fathering, parenting, adult development, Eriksonian thought, and moral development. It will also become required reading for scholars who desire to understand the ways in which men grow by engaging in the morally challenging work of fathering."
—Journal of Moral Education
"...Involved Fathering and Men's Adult Development is a wonderful, creative and important contribution to the research on fathers. It offers important lessons both substantively and methodologically."