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First-time fathers’ experiences of and desires for formal support: A multiple lens perspective


The transition to first-time fatherhood has been shown to be a stressful time for men and social support is a factor that influences this experience. Research on first-time fathers’ experiences with formal support, such as programmatic efforts like childbirth classes and family education, is limited. This qualitative study explores firsttime fathers’ experiences with formal support, using data from focus groups with fathers and women with whom they co-parent, as well as community consultations with professionals who serve expectant and new parents. The findings indicated there is value in and benefits from formal support and at the same time there are limits in the current forms available for men. Suggestions are made to expand and tailor first-time fathers’ formal support opportunities.

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