Date of Conferral





Health Services


Loretta Cain


This phenomenological qualitative study explored the parenting role of nonresidential fathers of children living in shelters. Special attention was paid to the perceived contributions of these fathers to the overall health and general well-being of their children residing in shelters. Often separations of nonresidential fathers from their children in shelters decreased their contributions to their children's health and well-being. Increased knowledge of these parental roles and contributions can enhance programs and policies to support these fathers in improving the health and well-being of their children. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 6 demographically diverse nonresidential fathers living in Philadelphia. The health-belief model, in conjunction with the revised health-belief model, was used as a theoretical framework for this study. The research questions were designed to explore nonresidential fathers' parenting roles, perceptions of their contributions, and the facilitators of and barriers to their parenting while their children resided in shelters. An inductive approach to data analysis informed study findings of nonresidential fathers' active participation and engagement in their children's lives, including involvement in their healthcare and health promotion. Perceived facilitators to their parenting role included internal and external motivators, whereas perceived challenges and barriers to their parenting role were externally based. Finally, study findings showed these fathers to be present and making significant contributions to the improved health and overall well-being of their children while they resided in homeless shelters.