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Type: Thesis
Title: Men’s health practices within dual income families.
Author: Laws, Thomas Alan Clifford
Issue Date: 2009
School/Discipline: School of Population Health and Clinical Practice : Public Health
Abstract: The topic, Men’s health practices in dual income families, is worthy of investigation because social change continues to challenge gender roles that have been used to justify a segregation of parental responsibilities. Although child health has primarily been the responsibility of mothers, the increasing trend toward dual income families has resulted in mothers being less available for this role. An emerging substitute for maternal health care is that provided by fathers. Key researchers of fatherhood have reported that men desire more pragmatic interactions with their child, aimed at directly improving health and wellbeing (Burgess, 1990; Burgess & Ruxton, 1997; Burghes, et al., 1997). However, little is known about men’s willingness and capability in performing the range of practices necessary to effectively reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with child illness and injury (Hallberg, 2007; Laws, 2003a). This study used several methods of data collection that ultimately identified new knowledge of men’s health practices not previously recorded in the literature. Document searches, for evidence of men’s health practices, are presented as six chapters; each chapter explores a discrete category of child health or illness; Acute illness, Chronic illness, Mental health problems, Terminal illness, Health promotion and Accident and injury prevention. All six document searches revealed scant information on men’s health practices; this finding supported the need for additional methods. Focus group discussions and individual interviewsm aimed to identify men’s knowledge of child health problems, their repertoire of skills and experiences of practicing health. A questionnaire survey was distributed to households to assess respondent’s attitudes toward the concept of gender equity, shared parenting and to measure the actual health practices performed toward children. Analysis of focus group discussions and survey data revealed a) strong support for gender equity in the workplace and the home b) strong support for equitable parenting c) a repertoire of health practices and frequency of performance far in excess of that evident in the literature. These findings suggest more equitable parenting is occurring and a reclaimed fatherhood role. However, all three methods of data collection identify that men experience substantial barriers to expanding their parental role into child health care; these findings and emerging evidence indicate the need for health professionals and policy makers to develop strategies that enhance men’s inclusion, as partners, in child health practices.
Advisor: Worsley, Tony
Esterman, Adrian Jeffrey
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Population Health and Clinical Practice, 2009
Subject: Children Health and hygiene
Father and child.
Child rearing.
Keywords: fathers; child health; illness; practices; dual income
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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