Research Clusters

New Fathers

Led by Ed Bader, Co-Chair FIRA (Community); Catholic Community Services of York Region, and Dr. Andrea Doucet, Department of Sociology, Carleton University

Based in London, York Region, and Toronto

Focus: to increase community, practitioner, and academic understandings of the experiences of new fathers in Canada: how men are impacted by the transition to fatherhood, the supports new fathers need and the services that are currently available to them.

This cluster has undertaken three phases of research activities focusing on the time period from pregnancy through the first eighteen months of the child's life, when new fathers' interest and needs are highest.

  • A national survey of community organizations to ascertain the levels of support services offered to fathers before, during and after the birth of their children from community organizations and the health system.
  • Ten focus groups with diverse groups of fathers across Canada designed to get men's perspectives on which services they want and which existing programs they find the most and least helpful.
  • Collecting narratives of new fathering through in-depth interviews with 20 fathers as well as several case study couples. This data provides insight into the impact of new fatherhood on family relationships, gender roles as they relate to parenting, personal and social identities, masculinities and the balance of work, family and social responsibilities.

The Partnership

Partners in this cluster include Focus on Fathers program (Catholic Community Services of York Region); the Working with Families Institute, Department Family and Community Medicine, U. of T. (Dr. Bill Watson, also staff physician St. Michael's Hospital), Tim Paquette, chair of the Father Involvement Initiative - Ontario Network and formerly with the National Project Fund on Fatherhood, Invest in Kids, (Carol Crill Russell), DadsCan (Dr. Neil Campbell founder of the Dad Classes in London, Ontario). Andrea Doucet will serve as a researcher in this cluster and provide student supervision.

Executive Summary (Father Involvement Community Research Forum Spring 2006 - Early Results)
Authored by Ed Bader and Andrea Doucet. A summary of research into factors relating to parenting by new fathers. Summary includes an overview of academic research into parenting by new fathers, community partnerships, and the development of new resources and programs.

Published Articles Related to This Project

Doucet, A. (2009). Dad and baby in the first year: Gendered responsibilities and embodiment. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 624(1), 78-98.

Related Scholarly Articles/Books by Andrea Doucet

McKay, L., & Doucet, A. (2010). " Without Taking Away Her Leave": A Canadian Case Study of Couples' Decisions on Fathers' Use of Paid Parental Leave. Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice about Men as Fathers, 8(3), 300-320.

Doucet, A. (2008). “From her side of the gossamer wall (s)”: reflexivity and relational knowing. Qualitative Sociology, 31(1), 73-87. 

Doucet, A., & Merla, L. (2007). Stay-at-home fathering: A strategy for balancing work and home in Canadian and Belgian families. Community, Work and Family, 10(4), 455-473.

Doucet, A. (2006). ‘Estrogenā€filled worlds’: fathers as primary caregivers and embodiment. The Sociological Review, 54(4), 696-716.

Doucet, A. (2006). Do Men Mother?: Fatherhood, Care, and Domestic Responsibility. University of Toronto Press.



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