First-Time Fathers’ Attitudes Towards, and Experiences With, Parenting Courses in Denmark

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Abstract

Several studies report that men, just like women, go through a complex emotional upheaval when they are about to become parents and that men need support to be able to tackle parenthood in the best way possible. This qualitative study addresses the extent to which parenting courses attended by both the mother and the father constitute an appealing institutional service for first-time fathers and whether they find them useful in tackling the challenges they face during the pregnancy and after the birth. The article explores difficulties with recruiting fathers to such courses and ensuring their continued attendance since men’s masculinity dilemmas can affect the extent to which they are willing to seek help and to complete such courses. The findings indicated that fathers’ sense of responsibility and awareness of their role as a father in their child’s life was strengthened, and overall, they were satisfied both with the topics addressed during the course and with the teaching. Strong networks were formed among some of the parents at the parenting course. Caution is called for when drawing general conclusions about the benefits of such courses for first-time parents, as they are seldom attended by parents with minority ethnic backgrounds or by vulnerable and underprivileged parents.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Volume14
Issue number5
Number of pages12
ISSN1557-9883
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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