Individuals’ Value in Fathers: Qualitative Observation
There is a misconception regarding the role of fathers in the life of the individual, where usually the mothers play a more prominent role. At the same time, a lot of inquiries claim that lack of time spent with fathers may lead to the negative psychological well-being of children. Therefore, the current research is dedicated to the value of fathers in the life of individuals. The research aimed to reveal what individuals value in their fathers. Using the qualitative research design, a video observation of the 9 participants as the main method of data collection, and deductive methods of data analysis, the research produced several implications. It was determined that the older adults tend to focus on the universal symbols of care while small children and adolescents concentrate their attention on the activities spent with the fathers. Also, the younger adults focus on the ability of a father to support and listen. The research made a conclusion that, while the observation had several limitations, it points to the high value of fathers in individuals’ life. Overall, the research proved to be reliable and valid, as there were no threats to validity. Further research has to be dedicated to the topic of fathers’ importance for daughters, their impact on the personality development of children, and their relationship with mothers.
Individuals’ Value in Fathers: Qualitative Observation
While a lot of research dedicated to the value of mothers in the life of children, the significance of fathers in individuals’ life is usually disregarded. At the same time, there are numerous inquiries proving that the divorce and separation of children from one of the parents affects negatively the psychological well-being of a person. Therefore, the importance of responsible fatherhood and the role they play in individuals’ life have to be studied more thoroughly. According to the research conducted among the new fathers, only half of them lived with their biological fathers until the age of 15 in two-parents family, while nearly third of them did not (Guzzo, 2011). According to the research, the participants who did not live with their fathers may not have a productive model of a family, which may explain their further behavior as the fathers (Guzzo, 2011). According to Sobolewski & King (2005), non-residential fathers have low chances to build the positive and productive relationship with their children due to various factors, from the negative experience during the marriage to their lack of a good parental model.
The majority of studies claim that there is a negative outcome of poor fatherhood, yet none of them explain the role of a father in a person’s life. As there is a substantial gap in the research explaining what role fathers play in individuals’ life, it is essential to explore this area. The current research aims to reveal what individuals value in their fathers and how they explain fathers’ roles in their personal life. The study has a goal to examine the personal opinion of individuals from their point of view of children, even though several of them are adults. It is important to recognize the value of fatherhood, yet not as the opposition to motherhood, but as an independent constant. The following question is answered in the course of the research:
What is the role fathers play in the life of individual?
The participants were observed using the videotaped answers on the question about the role of fathers in their life. There are 9 respondents divided into the age groups, where 2 of them are small children, 1 adolescent, 3 younger adults, and 3 older adults. Also, there are 5 females and 4 males. The participants tend to give either short explanation of their opinion or propose an interpretation of their fathers’ value.
The main method of data collection is the observation of the group of 9 participants with the help of a video that shows their interpretation of the significance of fathers in their lives. The methods of data analysis are descriptive and analytical.
The researcher uses the observation as the main basis for the study by comparing and contrasting the answers provided by the respondents in order to synthesize the main point in the answers of the participants. After the comparison, the researcher provides personal interpretation on the basis of the collected information answering the question what individuals value in their fathers. While there is a limited number of the participants, it is important to mention that the results of the study cannot be generalized on the larger group of the respondents.
Results & Discussion
As the participation in the video does not allow the provision of names, the respondents are given the relative number indicating their appearance in the video. The following table presents descriptive findings retrieved during the analysis:
The responses of the younger adults point to their need for understanding and supportive fathers while the older adults refer to the universal values like sense of humor or being kind. The difference between the age groups is probably roots in the type of relationship individuals have during their lifetime. Also, it has to be noted that each of these individuals has a specific relationship with their fathers which can differ from the other participants. At the same time, it is possible to notice the similarity in the responses of all participants. It is possible to assume that the respondents spent the qualitative amount of time with their fathers and have positive memories connected to their experience. According to Beale (1999), it is essential for the fathers to spend time with their children even if the parents are separated. According to the research, it is crucial to engage in the activities with children, including sports and outdoor time, which is increasing their value in individuals’ life (Beale, 1999). As the results show, children value these things as well.
A lot of studies are dedicated to the relationship between fathers and their sons, which point to the idea of the importance of the role of a father in male’s life. Long et al. (2014) conducted an interview with the 38 fathers and sons that revealed that the main factors contributing to their quality of the relationship included “personality mesh, relationship changing health experiences, reframing memories, son’s changing expectations for fathers across cohorts, relationship outcomes, symbols of care, and identity” (p. 125). The results of the current analysis pointed to the same direction revealing that the majority of the respondents value the symbols of care (respondent 8), relationship outcomes (participants 2, 4), and reframing memories (respondent 5).
Unfortunately, there are limited number of inquiries dedicated to the relationship between daughters and their fathers and the majority of them focus on the value of fathers in predicting the womanhood and future sexual behavior of their daughters. According to one of the inquiries, the fatherly affirmations can positively affect the female’s self-esteem and eliminate women’s fear of intimacy (Scheffler & Naus, 1999). Also, the research indicated that fathers play a significant role in their daughters’ life, where being kind and supportive are valued the most. The research supports these statements, as the respondents 1, 3, and 7 indicated that they value their fathers for kindness and support. Another study also determined that emotional development of children depends on the activities spent with fathers, where psychological benefits are shared by both children and fathers (Bouchard, Lee, Asgary, & Pelletier, 2007). While the participants 5 and 6 focused their attention on the activities rather than their fathers’ personal qualities, it is possible to assume that the small children value the activities and planning with fathers more than the older participants.
One of the studies conducted among fathers tried to investigate their responsibility rather than activities, which came to a conclusion that fathers tend to focus on the activities spent with their children more than the other functions (Stueve & Pleck, 2003). A lot of participants consider the activities as the main responsibility as a father rather than conducting a conversation or engaging into the physical care about their kids (Stueve & Pleck, 2003). During the current study, the results showed that some of the respondents (2, 3, 4) focused on the ability of their fathers to support and listen, which does not reflect the same results generated by the previous research. At the same time, the majority of answers are too general to be able to expand their meaning.
Overall, it is important to mention that the video provides a very brief review of the topic. I consider that the theme of fathers’ value in children’s life can be expanded to the myriad issues, including the character of the relationship, the comparison between the mothers and fathers, fathers’ impact on the formation of the personality, and the importance of connecting with fathers after the separation. To my point of view, both the activities, as well as universal symbols of care, are essential in person’s life because it is crucial to have a positive model of a family and fatherhood for both males and females. Also, the future research may concentrate the attention on the importance of the mutually benefiting relationship between both parents, which I think, affects the personality development and psychological well-being of children.
Beale, A. V. (1999). Involving Fathers in Parent Education: The Counselor's Challenge. Professional School Counseling, 3(1), 5-11.
Bouchard, G., Lee, C. M., Asgary, V., & Pelletier, L. (2007). Fathers' Motivation for Involvement with Their Children: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective. Fathering, 5(1), 25-29.
Guzzo, K. B. (2011). New Fathers' Experiences with Their Own Fathers and Attitudes toward Fathering. Fathering, 9(3), 268-277.
Long, E. C., Fish, J. N., Scheffler, A., & Hanert, B. (2014). Memorable Experiences between Fathers and Sons: Stories That Shape a Son's Identity and Perspective of His Father. The Journal of Men's Studies, 22(2), 122-133.
Osherson, S. (2007). My Father before Me: How Fathers and Sons Influence Each Other throughout Their Lives. Fathering, 5(2), 148-161.
Scheffler, T. S., & Naus, P. J. (1999). The Relationship between Fatherly Affirmation and a Woman's Self-Esteem, Fear of Intimacy, Comfort with Womanhood and Comfort with Sexuality. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 8(1), 5-17.
Sobolewski, J. M., & King, V. (2005). The Importance of the Coparental Relationship for Nonresident Fathers' Ties to Children. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67(5), 1196-1203.
Stueve, J. L., & Pleck, J. H. (2003). Fathers' Narratives of Arranging and Planning: Implications for Understanding Paternal Responsibility. Fathering, 1(1), 51-66.