Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

patricia heisser-metoyer

Abstract

Fathers face difficulties when taking on the single parent role, including having to prove their ability to care for their children alone. Existing research does not address issues concerning single fathers and the stressors they experience in raising their children. This study addresses these issues and helps researchers understand single fathers by using a qualitative approach to understand their perception of parenting. Fourteen participants from New York City participated in semi-structured interviews to elicit information about this phenomenon. This study focused on experiences the men have while being a single parent, the impact of living in New York City on single fathers parenting, and helpful services for single fathers. After completion of the interviews, each discussion was input into the memos section of Nvivo for use in the analysis phase. Interviews were separated into descriptive nodes addressing each area of interest. Data was then dissected into subnodes, which assisted in determining the themes, represented by participant responses. The last analysis step included the establishment of important ideas for each of the three research questions. The findings show fathers experience stressors when being a single parent as they identified childcare, the absence of the child's mother, finances, housing, medical insurance, and communication issues as stress factors. Surprisingly, a majority of the participants felt living in New York positively impacted their parenting. Although a majority of the participants identified stress as part of their parenting experience, all the fathers identified services as a practical tool to help them improve their parenting. Several implications for positive social change after completing this research study include helping providers understand the needs of this population, and identifying the need for support to help improve parenting for this population.