Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

J. Craig Peery


J. Craig Peery


Jay D. Schvanedelt


John Keith


Attitudes of 74 first-time fathers were studied as they varied vi by childbirth preparation and participation. A 50-variable questionnaire was used to tap fathers' attitudes towards their marital relationship and partner, their infants, themselves as fathers, and the pregnancy/childbirth experience.

Fathers agreed on being elated with fatherhood, wanting tactile, verbal, and extended home contact with their infants, planning on a partnership in parenting, and seeing their marriage at a high point. They saw pregnancy as a time of stress and adjustment and felt father participation was important. Their attitudes varied most on wife's performance and their own helpfulness through labor and delivery.

The variance and the numerous relationships of the 50 variables were consolidated through factor analysis. 2 x 2 ANOVA on eight factors revealed the effects of preparation and participation. It was found that participation increases the father's respect for his wife, gives him more purpose in the childbirth, and increases his elation at becoming a father. The prepared and participating father realized the importance and responsibility of his participation and perceived his infant as being perfect.

A trend was seen between preparation and concerns with the infant time involvement, the pleasure with the news of pregnancy. and a desire to go through the childbirth experience again. Merit was also given to a lack of preparation and participation through the results of analysis on Factor II--The triad. The nonprepared nonparticipating fathers saw the marriage at a high point, showed tactile and visual engrossment, and planned on a parenting partnership more than any other group of fathers in the sample.