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Engaging Low-Income Fathers Pursuing Services Available to Parents: Perspectives of Fathers in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Boak, Brandi (2023) Engaging Low-Income Fathers Pursuing Services Available to Parents: Perspectives of Fathers in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Literature surrounding parenting roles, fatherhood specifically, increasingly demonstrates the importance of a father figure in the life of a child. This includes actively participating in parent-oriented programming aimed at supporting families and aiding proper child development. Father engagement in parent-oriented programming has been a challenge for many programs. It is not uncommon for early childhood-oriented programming to be perceived to be a mother and child program; fathers may feel judged, excluded, or simply feel that the program is not intended for them.
Art-based methods like photovoice present an opportunity for people who may not otherwise be comfortable opening up about their experiences to express themselves in creative ways that center their perspective, which can then be supplemented with oral communication (e.g., in an interview or focus group).
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a local Early Head Start program that serves Allegheny County has taken a special interest in further engaging fathers in their programming, as mothers have historically been the primary participants. As part of Family Foundation Early Head Start’s (FF EHS) annual quality improvement assessment for 2022-2023, they enlisted an evaluation team to conduct a photovoice project with currently enrolled fathers in order to hear from fathers about the experience of fatherhood as well as their challenges and utilized resources. Towards that end, in addition to photovoice, the evaluation team conducted an interview with a father and focus groups with multiple FF EHS staff across parent-facing roles.
Results explore how fathers understand their role, challenges and needs of fathers, and engagement and support of fathers within EHS. Findings can help similar parent-oriented programming better understand experiences of fatherhood and provide ways to improve services with fathers in mind.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Boak, Brandibrb178@pitt.edubrb178
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairElias, Thistleelias@pitt.eduelias
Committee MemberBaumann, Sarasarabaumann@pitt.edusarabaumann
Committee MemberMartinson, Jeremyjmartins@pitt.edujmartins
Date: 25 August 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 August 2023
Approval Date: 25 August 2023
Submission Date: 11 August 2023
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 63
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: fatherhood, photovoice, qualitative methods, arts-based methods, parent programming, fatherhood experience
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2023 15:28
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2023 15:28


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