The research agenda of The Fatherhood Project and its partners is aimed at scientifically validating interventions, informing program and training development and advancing knowledge in related fields. With the goal of improved health outcomes for children through increased emotional engagement of fathers, our research is anticipated to lead to new evidence-based standards for intervention.

New father feeding his newborn infant

A Fatherhood Study in Prenatal Care

Research shows that when fathers are engaged with their children during the prenatal period, they are likely to stay involved throughout the child’s life. With this in mind, TFP and the Staff at Vincent Obstetrics are working to create a family-friendly and father-friendly approach to prenatal services. We have administered a Father Survey to men attending prenatal appointments with their partners and received 401 responses (85% participation). These expectant fathers were excited at the opportunity to share their experiences and many thanked us for our innovative initiative to include them. This may be the largest study of men in the prenatal period in the country. The survey asked about the men’s physical and mental health, their feelings about becoming fathers, their needs for education and support, and their experience at MGH’s Vincent Obstetrics. We are beginning to disseminate our findings through presentations at national conferences and will share our results here soon.

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Fathers and Childhood Obesity Prevention

In collaboration with Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH, Chief, Division of General Academic Pediatrics at Mass General Hospital for Children and her First 1,000 Days Study, TFP’s contribution is aimed at developing and evaluating focused interventions for fathers and families to decrease obesity in children. For a summary of existing research, view Elsie’s abstracts on childhood obesity risk factors and interventions in the first 1,000 days.

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Father and young son playing basketball
The Fatherhood Project's Research Review cover page

The Fatherhood Project's Research Review

TFP’s Research Review is a comprehensive compilation of research on fatherhood from academic and professional journals. Half of the more than 225 references contained in this Review are from within the last five years, but there are citations from earlier published dates as well. Recent findings are added to the Review on a regular basis. The Review is organized in question form so that interested professionals can more easily access current research in a user-friendly manner. It is offered as a service to those working in the academic and applied areas of the fatherhood field. We will also be developing one-page summaries of areas of research for easy downloading and immediate use.

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