Fathers of children with developmental disabilities

Author(s): Elaine MacDonald

Department: St. Michael’s House

Reported: (In print. Due in 2010) In M.E. Lamb (Ed). The Role of the father in child development (5th ed.)New York: Wiley.

(31 Jul 2009)

Until recently fathers of children with developmental disabilities have rarely featured in research and clinical interventions, and thus little is known about their experiences, needs and childcare involvement. However, as a consequence of changing demographic trends, advances in developmental psychology, family systems theory, and psychological research, it has become increasingly important to be informed about and engaged with this population of fathers. Drawing upon research findings, theoretical developments, and clinical interventions, this chapter discusses themes including fathers’ responses to diagnosis, their process of psychological adaptation to the parenting role, their involvement in childcare and, the influence of the couple relationships on fathers’ psychological well-being.

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