Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

William R. Dobson


William R. Dobson


Michael R. Bertoch


Brent C. Miller


The purpose of this paper is to survey research and literature on family therapy to assess what is known currently about contributions of fathers in family counseling. At the same time, theory about fathers' participation in family therapy and his expected contributions to it are summarized here. Because a certain amount of theorizing and speculation are involved, the major question of this paper will be narrowed to avoid moving too far from the known. The main question will be the importance of the father's participation relative to his nonparticipation. Questions of the significance of the father's involvement relative to his family members will be mentioned, especially when the literature makes comments on that question. It will be important to note the limitations of the questions asked. Though the questions "what is missing when father is absent?" and "what does father's participation contribute?" can be attempts to answer the same question, knowledge in these areas combined will not give a complete picture. The other significant limitation of this paper is that it will not consider individually the contributions of mothers, children, therapists, and others. From this paper, further research and review can be done to make a greater picture of what each member contributes to and what takes place in family therapy.

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