Date of Defense:
May 11, 2009
The setting in which children are raised is multifaceted and diverse. Children are exposed to a spectrum of care providers and family members and each of these relationships has a great potential to influence the lives and development of children. Many believe that social systems, which include child care, role models, and parent-child relationships, have the greatest potential to shape the lives of children. It is from this framework that it becomes necessary to delve more deeply into the role of parents, and especially fathers, in the lives of their children and for researchers and policy makers to gain insight into the ways men influence the health and well-being of children.
Objectives and Methods: The purpose of this literature review is to explore the literature to date about paternal involvement and child health, to highlight the limitations of the research, and using these limitations, suggest future avenues of investigation into the subject of paternal involvement.