Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

C. Jay Skidmore


C. Jay Skidmore


This study was designed to reveal the self perception of unwed fathers . Ten men participated in the project; nine of them were 25 years of age or younger. To measure self perception an instrument was constructed in the form of a questionnaire . Each um18d father was then interviewed to discover his perceptions, particularly as they relate to their common plight of unwed fatherhood.

The men perceived themselves as normal young Americans, and felt their conduct and intentions were in compliance, nth peer expectations. Some of the subjects responded to the interview, with descriptive and detailed accounts while others were either unconcerned or hesitant and replied in few words. None of the men (with two exceptions) were looking for new sexual partners. Only two of the unwed fathers had employed some form of conception control while having sexual relations with the mothers involved and these two did not do so regularly. The men were not contributing to the support of their child on a consistent basis, indicating their lack of involvement in a situation in which they share equal responsibility with the child's mother.

The emergence of a clearer picture of the unwed father, through the attempt to reveal his interests, problems, and concerns , may assist in the development of strategies and programs to prevent illegitimacy and to effectively aid those involved in it . Perhaps this study of the self perception of unwed fathers will be helpful in this regard.