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Fathers’ experiences of their transition to fatherhood: a metasynthesis

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Issue number1
Volume29
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)4-18
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This research aimed to synthesise the findings of recent qualitative studies which explored fathers' experiences of their transition to fatherhood. Noblit and Hare's (1988) seven‐step meta‐ethnographic approach was utilised to synthesise the findings of eight articles representing six qualitative studies published between 2002 and 2008. Through the process of reciprocal translation, three overarching themes were derived: (1) emotional reactions to phases of transition: ‘detached, surprise and confusion’, (2) identifying their role as father: the ‘approachable provider’, and (3) redefining self and relationship with partner: the ‘more united tag team’. Themes reflected fathers' experiences from pregnancy through to 14 months after the birth of their child. The findings from this synthesis highlighted several recommendations for clinical practice both in the antenatal and postnatal period. The limitations of this synthesis and recommendations for practice are discussed.