Glasgow University Institute for Health and Wellbeing is seeking applications to undertake a PhD studentships on father-child relationships.
Research on the role of fathers in children’s socialisation has mainly focused on the benefits of father’s direct engagement in parenting activities in early childhood, including routine care and play. Much less is known about the importance of paternal emotional support for the child (warmth and responsiveness), highlighted in a re-conceptualisation of father involvement . Given increasing numbers of children with non-resident biological fathers and/or a resident social father, it is particularly important to investigate facilitators and benefits of supportive father-child relationships in non-traditional family types.
This PhD project would use data from around 3,000 10-12 year old children and their parents in the Growing Up in Scotland study. It would involve a statistical analysis of the factors promoting supportive father-child relationships and other aspects of father involvement, as well as the benefits of involvement for children’s socio-emotional adjustment, among different family types.
It is expected that the study will also have a qualitative component, collecting data from a sub sample of fathers in order to supplement the results of the statistical analysis. For example, it may focus on men who report low engagement with their children, exploring how they reflect on how themselves were parented as a context for their own parenting behaviour.