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Title: A qualitative exploration of men's transition to fatherhood and experiences of early parenting
Author: Kowlessar, Omar
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 8468
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis explores the experiences of men in the context of pregnancy and fatherhood using qualitative methodologies. It is presented as three papers, 1) a literature review; 2) an empirical study and 3) a personal and critical reflection of the processes involved in conducting the research.The literature review contains a systematic review of qualitative studies pertaining to men’s experiences during their partners’ pregnancy. The findings of 13 studies were synthesised to develop a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon and to offer new insights. Noblitt & Hare’s (1998) approach was used to construct five overarching themes which housed a total of 10 sub-themes. The synthesis is the first of its kind which solely focuses on men’s experiences of pregnancy; the inter-related themes represent a temporal trajectory, from early to late pregnancy, of the emotional, psychological and social changes that men may experience during their transitory journey. Similarities between the experiences of fathers and mothers are also highlighted, and are used to inform the clinical recommendations made for health visitors and midwives in providing antenatal services.The empirical study is a qualitative investigation into the lived experiences of 10 first-time fathers during their first year; it is based on Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA; Smith, 1996). Through in-depth semi-structured interviews, six super-ordinate themes were identified which contained a total of 21 sub-ordinate themes which composed a detailed description and thorough understanding of the participants’ personal worlds. The findings support the existing literature as well as offer new insights; using contemporary Transition Theory (Draper, 2003) as a theoretical framework, the birth of a man’s baby does not mark the start of his transitional journey but a continuation of it, with many experiences carrying over from pregnancy into parenthood. Participants talk about the type of support they would have valued in the antenatal period. Recommendations are made as to how antenatal services can be adapted to meet the needs of expectant fathers and mothers. The findings are particularly relevant to clinicians who routinely work with expectant couples, as there are similarities as well as differences between the experiences and needs of fathers and mothers. The third paper is a personal and critical reflection the processes involved in carrying out the research project. It contains critical discussions on the various aspects of the research including, rationale for chosen qualitative approaches, epistemological assumptions, recruitment issues, the interviews process, data analysis. Interwoven throughout this paper are personal reflections which draw parallels between the theoretical processes and practical skills used as a researcher conducting qualitative research and as a clinical psychologist. The paper highlights how the author has developed as both a researcher and clinician. When held in mind and used appropriately, the skill set of researcher and therapist can be used in synergy to complement one another.
Supervisor: Wittkowski, Anja Sponsor: Manchester University
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: fathers ; men ; metasynthesis ; parenting ; phenomenology ; pregnancy ; qualitative