Çocuk Sağlığı ve Hastalıkları Dergisi 2011 , Vol 54 , Num 2
The role of fathers in child care and development in children aged 0-10 years
*Hilal Özcebe1, Burcu Küçük Biçer2, Eren Çetin3, Mevlana Yılmaz3, Fegan Zakirov3
Hacettepe Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi 1Halk Sağlığı Profesörü, 2Halk Sağlığı Uzmanı, 3Tıp öğrencisi Özcebe H, Küçük-Biçer B, Çetin E, Yılmaz M, Zakirov F. (Department of Public Health, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey). The role of fathers in child care and development in children aged 0-10 years. Çocuk Sağlığı ve Hastalıkları Dergisi 2011; 54: 70-78.

The physical, mental and social development of children is affected by the participation of fathers in child care. This study aimed to determine the role of fathers in child care and development in the family. This descriptive study was conducted in a mid-socioeconomic level region of Ankara. The target group was mothers with children under 10 years old and presenting to the primary health care center for any reason. A face-to-face interview was conducted with 119 mothers from 2-5 February 2010. The mean age of the mothers was 30.73 (SD 5.747) and 55.4% of the mothers had graduated from high school or college. According to the information obtained from the mothers, the fathers’ mean age was 33.88 (SD 5.888) and 62.2% of them had graduated from high school or college. Almost all fathers were employed in positions requiring high education levels. Most of the fathers reached in this study had long working hours (48.7% for 9-10 hours and 41.2% for ≥11 hours) and worked in a stressful environment (83.2%). 78.2% of the fathers preferred staying at home after work. According to the mothers’ responses, 82.4% of the fathers were involved in the children’s feeding, 39.5% helped with diapering and 75.6% went to the child’s bed if they cried during the night. 38.7% of fathers read books to their children before sleeping, 39.5% watched children’s programs together, 51.2% went to parks with the children, and 48.7% played games at home. 60% of the fathers had not received any information about child education and care. For those fathers who did receive information on child care, the main source was the media. Fathers with a good relationship with their wives demonstrated better parenting behaviors than the others. The fathers’ contribution to child care and education was found higher in the families in which decisions about child care were shared by both parents than in the families in which the decision was made only by the mother or the father. Fathers are important to a child’s social and mental development; therefore, an information and counselling service regarding child care should be offered to fathers as well. Anahtar Kelimeler : baba, çocuk gelişimi, çocuk bakımı.

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