Conducting nonsexist research, prevention, and treatment with fathers and mothers: A call for a change

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Psychology of Women Quarterly, ISSN: 0361-6843, Vol: 20, Issue: 1, Page: 55-77

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Phares, Vicky
SAGE Publications
Social Sciences; Psychology; Arts and Humanities; Psychiatry and Psychology
article description
In published research and in unpublished doctoral dissertation research, fathers are underrepresented in the investigation of child and family functioning. A number of possible explanations for this underrepresentation are discussed, including researchers' use of sexist theories that either directly or indirectly result in mother blaming, family demographics that suggest fathers are less present in the lives of their children when compared with mothers, and researchers' perceptions of fathers' unwillingness to participate in research. In order to encourage nonsexist family research that includes both mothers and fathers, recommendations are provided to increase the inclusion of fathers in child and family research. Specifically, researchers are encouraged to always provide parallel investigations of paternal factors when maternal factors are investigated. Researchers are also encouraged to investigate similarities as well as differences between mothers and fathers in relation to their children's functioning. Implications for the involvement of fathers in prevention and clinical interventions are discussed. In order to move beyond non-sexist research, feminist research issues are also raised.