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Title: How do facilitators explain paternal absence from parenting groups?
Author: Irvine, Simone
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2018
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Background: Parent programmes are a NICE (2017) recommended intervention for parents of children who have a conduct disorder and evidence suggests a number of benefits to paternal involvement in such interventions. However, on the whole fathers are often unrepresented at parenting groups. The present study aimed to understand the issues to which facilitators attributed paternal absence from parenting groups. Method: Thematic analysis was chosen to highlight salient ideas in facilitators' explanations. The participants were a volunteer sample of nine parenting group facilitators, from various child services in South East England. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in person and over the phone, and were up to 60 minutes long. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using an inductive approach. Results: The data revealed five main themes: "An uncomfortable topic", "Responsibility", "Our hands are tied", "Fathers are peripheral parents" and "What makes fathers more comfortable?". Facilitators appeared uncomfortable discussing this topic and tried to avoid generalisations or the appearance of sexism. They had differing ideas of who was responsible for paternal attendance and many felt they had done all they could. An important aspect of facilitators explanations of paternal absence was of parents adherence to traditional gender roles in relation to childcare. They also considered that greater familiarity with services and the presence of other men in groups might make fathers more comfortable attending parenting groups. Conclusion: Facilitators found this an uncomfortable topic but mainly explained absence in terms of parents adopting traditional gender roles and service constraints. Clinical implications and research recommendations based on this are discussed.
Supervisor: Morison, Linda Sponsor: Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral