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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Abstract

FALCETO, Olga G; FERNANDES, Carmen L; BARATOJO, Claudia  and  GIUGLIANI, Elsa R J. Factors associated with father involvement in infant care. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.42, n.6, pp. 1034-1040. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To identify factors associated with the lack of active father involvement in infant care at four months of age. METHODS: Cross-sectional study involving families of 153 infants at four months of age, interviewed in their homes by two family therapists. In addition to father involvement in infant care, sociodemographic, parental mental health (using the Self Report Questionnaire-20 scale and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria assessment) and quality of couple relationship characteristics (using the Assessment of Relational Functioning from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV) were analyzed. Poisson regression was employed to assess the association between lack of father involvement in child care and the variables selected. Prevalence ratio was used to estimate the magnitude of associations. RESULTS: Fathers of 13% of infants had no contact with their children. Among families whose parents lived together (78% of all), 33% of the fathers reported not actively participating in their children's care. Problematic couple relationship and mother as a housewife were associated with lack of father involvement in infant care. CONCLUSIONS: High prevalence of families whose father is not actively involved with infant care, especially when couple relationship is problematic and the mother does not have a paid job.

Keywords : Paternity; Paternal Behavior; Father-Child Relations; Family Relations; Child Care; Cross-Sectional Studies.

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