Research on fathers: pathways to coming of age

Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Fathers have finally become more than bit players in research on parenting. In the past, studies tended to focus exclusively on mothers, or included fathers’ education, absence, or support as reported by the mother only as a covariate. Fathers have now joined mothers in the spotlights, as evident from the current special issue on observational father data. And for good reasons: They have become more visible for their own children as well. Over one generation, there has been a 3- to 6-fold increase in fathers’ time spent on child care compared to what their own fathers typically did (Bakermans-Kranenburg, Lotz, Alyousefi-van Dijk & Van IJzendoorn, 2019). It is thus crucial for researchers to include them in studies on parenting and child development, also from a family systems perspective (Cowan & Cowan, 2019). The set of studies in this special issue demonstrates that understanding child development is greatly enriched by incorporating observational father data (or secondary caregiver data in the case of gay and lesbian families; Ellis-Davies et al., 2021).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-333
Number of pages2
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Early online date13 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


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