Fathers, Caregiving and Work


Compiled by Mikaela Marmion and Kelly Siss

Topic Page Advisor:
Andrea Doucet and Margaret O'Brien 

The landscape of work, family, and caregiving has changed over the past several decades.  Mothers are spending more time in the commercial workplace, and the image of a detached father who goes to work and has little involvement with children and home life is, in many ways, a thing of the past. Attention is now being paid to the “modern dad” who has a different vision of fatherhood and masculinity. But how much has the reality of caregiving really changed? What are the factors that inhibit or encourage fathers’ involvement in care? Fathers’ roles as breadwinners and caregivers are shaped by both social norms and social policy. These complex relationships and influences are of growing interest and importance in work-family scholarship and practice.

Compiled: July 2009

Updated: February 2010