Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family, Consumer, and Human Development


Don C. Carter


Some literature implies the modern father has abdicated his place as head of the family, but little research has been done to examine the role of the father in the modern American family.

Intensive interviews of 18 college student men who each had at least two children showed that these men are very much concerned with fatherhood and participate actively in the rearing of their children. They feel the father has at least as much responsibility for the rearing of their children as the mother, possibly more. They are involved more in some dimensions of parenthood than others. Those fathers who have demanding responsibilities outside the home participate less in child care but are no less interested or concerned.

These families are quite democratic; most work out child care in an equalitarian manner. For the majority, however, the father remains the final authority.

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