“Connection, community and convenience”: A case study of a Facebook group for fathers navigating parenthood

Vincent O. Mancini, Ryan Takeda, Anjali Nagar, Bruce W. S. Robison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Issues addressed
Fathers remain less likely to participate in parenting interventions which can limit their ability to receive support and build their parenting capacity. The advent of social media has engendered novel opportunities for fathers to connect with, and support, one another in the form of online peer support. Growth of these online communities exemplifies the demand from fathers to relate to other fathers who are navigating parenthood. However, the benefits of membership to these communities remain unclear. This study evaluated the perceived benefits of members of an online father-to-father, community-created and moderated Facebook group designed for Australian fathers in both rural and metropolitan regions.
Methods
One-hundred and forty-five Australian fathers (aged 23–72 years) who were members of the same online fathering community completed an online survey where they qualitatively described their experiences as members of this community.
Results
Content analysis of open-ended survey questions revealed that fathers identified a series of unique and important personal and familial benefits, which were largely attributed to their ability to connect with fellow fathers. Specifically, the opportunity to have convenient access to a safe space for fathers to connect was highly valued, providing fathers with opportunities to support, discuss and normalise parenting experiences.
Conclusions
Online father-to-father connection is a highly valued resource for fathers who are navigating parenthood.
So what?
Online, community-led groups for fathers contribute to perceptions of genuineness and ownership by its members and provide a unique opportunity to connect and seek support for parenting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)702-713
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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