Attitudinal and demographic factors influencing fathers' involvement in childbirth

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in fathers' involvement in childrearing and childbirth. The purpose of this study was to determine how the attitudinal and demographic characteristics of expectant fathers influence their decision about participation vs non-participation in childbirth. A questionnaire which measured sex role attitudes, marital satisfaction, authoritarian parenting attitudes and belief in reciprocity was distributed to 44 men whose wives were in their third trimester of pregnancy.

Multivariate and univariate analyses were performed. The univariate analysis was deemed the more appropriate statistic based on unequal sample sizes of participants and non-participants. Differences between the two groups on demographic data were slight. Of all the criterion variables, only belief in reciprocity producted significant differences between groups, p < .05. Belief in reciprocity was the best predictor of fathers' involvement in childbirth.