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How Do Marriage and Family Therapist View Fathers As Being the Single Primary Caretakers Essay

Pages:6 (1680 words)



Topic:Single Mothers

Document Type:Essay



Children in the 21st century have to confound with a fundamentally different cultural and social environment in the course of their growth and development—one of the most notable developments in the increase of single-father families. Single fathers are also, commonly, the legal guardians of their children. Various reasons lead to these situations. Some single parents may opt to be in such a state by choice. Others are forced into the situation by circumstances such as the loss of their partners or separation. It has also been observed that single parents commonly experience a range of challenges, including stress. Single parents face challenges that emanate from the sheer parenting responsibility. Other sources of stress could include but not limited to, financial obligations and coping with their situations. Children of single parents may find it hard to cope and maybe confused because the rules in one household may not be the same as the other between their parents. These situations arise when there is legal shared parenting responsibility. Single parents are also faced with challenges of finding romantic partners. The situation is worse when such parents have small children. Thoughts of loneliness and isolation are common in such situations. When it comes to the single-parent families with only the father to boot, there is a host of unique challenges. They often experience an overload of their role. They encounter isolation, grief, and even challenges relating to the noncustodial parent. The use of a brief therapy strategy design to the issues is demonstrated via multiple case presentations that show classic issues that single-parent families have to confound with. When the single father parent is also the caregiver, the challenge is aggravated.

Literature Review

Haire and McGeorge (2012) conducted a study that sought to examine the negative perceptions towards parents who have never been married, single fathers, and single mothers who are also custodial parents. They applied a feminist biased framework to establish the gender-driven differences manifest in such views. Seven hundred sixty-nine participants were involved in the study. They were randomly allocated questions to respond to, regarding single fathers and mothers. The study’s outcome indicated that the participants’ views regarding single mothers and fathers were influenced by the gender of the parent.

Further, the results showed that the negative traits attributed to single mothers were not a function of their role but were personal, while the attributes assigned to the single fathers were a function of their situation. Much research indicates that single mothers are more commonly vindicated compared to their single father counterparts. Further, single-parent families are generally viewed in a negative light compared to families that are raised by both biological parents. The latter parents are regarded as responsible, communicative, and supportive. Single parents who have been in a marriage setup are regarded in a better light than those who are purely single. It appears that the reasons for such perceptions are because parents who have been married before tend to align more to the predetermined modes of social structure.

Maier and McGeorge (2014) researched to establish…

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…fathers present themselves, and to know their concerns when they are mandated by the court to attend to parenting education programs. While parenting groups and programs seek to help fathers along with their children, drawing fathers into the program remains challenging to the facilitators of the programs. It was also informed by the fact that fathers are increasingly reported to be reluctant to join such programs, and even when they join, they are passive. They tend to blame the system and claim that they are not understood when it comes to raising their children, and daughters, specifically. They are said to play hardcore and are often complicated in dealing with the children’s mother. They are also said to have backlog influences of poor raising in preparation for child care and have no proper knowledge of how to care for children. Fathers are commonly referred by courts to attend the parent education programs when the judge feels that there are lapses in the level of parenting skills and education. It may also be on suspicion of abuse, neglect, violence towards a partner, or when a father wants to have more contact rights with his children. There is little information on how such fathers present in the programs ordered by the court. Fathers have been largely ignored in research relating to single father needs and strategies for intervention. Studies on how Fathers participate in similar but other types of programs show that men shy away from support, especially when the support is formal. Men trend to perceive social services…

Sample Source(s) Used


DeJean, S. L., McGeorge, C. R., & Stone Carlson, T. (2012). Attitudes toward never-married single mothers and fathers: Does gender matter? Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 24(2), 121-138.

Greif, G. L., Finney, C., Greene-Joyner, R., Minor, S., & Stitt, S. (2007). Fathers who are court-mandated to attend parenting education groups at a child abuse prevention agency: Implications for family therapy. Family Therapy, 34(1), 13-26.

Haire, A. R., &McGeorge, C. R. (2012). Negative perceptions of never-married custodial single mothers and fathers: Applications of a gender analysis for family therapists. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 24(1), 24-51.

Jones, E. (1983). Leaving whom? Motherless families: problems of termination for the female family therapist. Journal of Family Therapy, 5(1), 11-22.

Maier, C. A., &McGeorge, C. R. (2014). Positive attributes of never-married single mothers and fathers: Why gender matters and applications for family therapists. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 26(3), 163-190.

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