Παρασκευή, 1 Φεβρουαρίου 2008

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ΤΕΣΣΕΡΑ ΒΙΒΛΙΑ ΚΑΙ LINKS
1. Fathers and adolescents
High father involvement in adolescence (as in childhood) is linked with less adolescent risk behaviour (Bronte-Tinkew et al, 2006) including smoking (Menning, 2006), criminality (Flouri, 2005) and a wide range of antisocial behaviours ((Bowen et al, 2007). Teenagers (both boys and girls) who feel close to their fathers also tend to be happier (Harris et al, 1998) - and to feel sad, angry and confused when these relationships falter (Videon, 2005). The Connected Father by Carl Pickhardt (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), developed out of the author's long experience as a family therapist, and underpinned by a good research base, is full of insights and useful strategies. Unlike most 'parenting' books and 'parent' education, Pickhardt's gender-awareness is strong. Without exaggerating differences between mothers and fathers or boys and girls, he identifies key issues for fathers (and mothers) in parenting sons and daughters. He is brilliant on 'fathering a teenage daughter'. Other excellent chapters look at why fathers tend to 'Disconnect from Adolescents' (and how to avoid this), 'The Problem with Work' 'Fathering a Teenage Son', 'Clarifying Expectations for Adolescent Change', and so on. Nor does Pickhardt lump all of 'adolescence' together, but divides that period into 'Early' 'Mid' and 'Late' with different issues addressed and strategies offered for each. A 'must-read' for professionals devising parent-education programmes or working with this age group – as well as for fathers and mothers themselves.
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2. Fathers and separation
A robust body of research now shows that children whose parents do not live together are greatly advantaged when they are able to maintain substantial and positive relationships with both their biological parents (Dunn, 2004). Putting Children First: a handbook for separated parents by Karen and Nick Woodall (Piatkus Books, 2007) is, quite simply, the best book on separation that we have ever read. Both the authors work at the Centre for Separated Families in York and have a wealth of experience with this client group. In this clever book – and its associated 'Parenting Plans' booklet - they guide both mothers and fathers (they have a real understanding of the needs and experiences of both sexes) through the emotional and practical journey of separation and its aftermath. Their explicit aim is to help parents 'put their children first', but the authors know this cannot be achieved until both father and mother can manage and understand their own feelings. Sensitive, practical, beautifully written, we believe this book should be REQUIRED READING for all professionals working in this field; and should always be offered to separating and separated mothers and fathers.
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3. Fathers and children with disabilities
Fathers of children with disabilities are a hugely ignored group. Like mothers, they vary enormously in their ongoing response to the disability (Harrison et al, 2007) with extremes of great involvement to total withdrawal often noted (for review, see Lamb & Laumann-Billings, 1997). Most share responsibility for care tasks with their partners (Towers & Swift, 2007), yet a substantial body of research shows these fathers being ignored or dismissed by services (SCIE, 2005b; Lamb & Laumann-Billings, 2004). More recent research has found some fathers feeling more included (Towers & Swift, 2007). Different Dads: Fathers' Stories of Parenting Disabled Children edited by Jill Harrison, Matthew Henderson and Rob Leonard (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) is therefore a particularly important book. It is a collection of personal testimonies written by over 20 fathers of children with a disability. The fathers vary widely, in ethnicity, age and situation (from single to married-adoptive) as do their children's ages and disabilites. A useful short description of each disability is provided at the end of the father's testimony, with a website reference to high quality information. This book will offer invaluable insights for anyone concerned with families with a disabled child. The fathers talk movingly about how they responded when they realised their child was disabled – the grief, the sense of loss, the challenges, but above all the enduring love, the sense of pride and connection to their child, and the stories of what they have learnt and gained along the way. Many of the dads have found their own assumptions about their role challenged profoundly. Government policies and laws now require social care and children's services to engage with and support father-child relationships systematically - and particularly those relationships that are vulnerable or under stress. Of course, there is still a long way to go to achieve this aspiration – but this book should give confidence and inspiration to health and social care professionals to engage with fathers.
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4. Young fathers and their child's adoption
Virtually all academic and other literature about birth parents of adopted children has focused on mothers – and there seems to be a tacit, if not explicit, perception that fathers who are not involved during the pregnancy, or who are separated from their children shortly afterwards, are largely unmoved by this experience. 'Younger marginalized men who become fathers are not only perhaps the most at risk, but are also the most invisible (Ferguson & Hogan, 2004). Birth Fathers and their Adoption Experiences by Gary Clapton (Jessica Kingsley Publishers), recounts the experiences of thirty young men, mainly teenagers, whose children were adopted from birth. What is striking is that, decades on, the events of that period continue to resonate for these men in a way that lends a passion and deep emotional quality to their accounts. A 'sense of becoming a father' could be present during the pregnancy even when the young man had rejected the situation and had no contact with the mother. Many continue to experience regular and unexpected thoughts of their child throughout their lives; and for 23 of the 30, the impact of the adoption was deeper and more long-lasting than almost anything else that ever happened to them. Only 21 of the 30 went on to father other children. This is a book that should be read not only by workers in adoption and fostering but also by those who work in teenage pregnancy – and by anyone who believes, deep down, that men who are not involved with their children are likely to be indifferent to them.
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REFERENCES
Bowen, E., Korney, M. E., & Steer, C. (2007). Characteristics associated with resilience in children at high risk of involvement in anti-social and other problem behaviour. Findings 283. London: Home Office. Bronte-Tinkew, J., Moore, K.A., & Carrano, J. (2006). The father-child relationship, parenting styles, and adolescent risk behaviors in intact families. Journal of Family Issues, 27(6), 850-881. Dunn, J. (2004). Annotation: Children's relationships with their non-resident fathers.. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45(4), 659-671. Ferguson, H., & Hogan, F (2004). Strengthening Families through Fathers: developing policy and practice in relation to vulnerable fathers and their families. Dublin: Family Affairs Unit, Dept. of Social and Family Affairs. Tel: 01-703 4956. Flouri, E. (2005). Fathering & Child Outcomes. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons. Harris, K.M., Furstenberg, F.F. Jr., & Marmer, J.K. (1998). Paternal involvement with adolescents in intact families: the influence of fathers over the life course. Demography, 35, 201-216. Harrison, J., Henderson M., & Leonard, R. (2007). Different Dads: fathers' stories of parenting disabled children. London: Jessica Kinglsey. Lamb, M.E., & Laumann-Billings, L.A. (1997). Fathers of children with special needs In M.E. Lamb (ed.), The Role of the Father in Child Development (3rd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. Menning, C.L. (2006). Non-resident fathers' involvement and adolescents' smoking. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 47(1), 32-46. SCIE (2005b). Research briefing 18: Being a father to a child with disabilities: issues and what helps. London: Social Care Institute for Excellence. Briefing available at:
http://www.scie. org.uk/publicati ons/briefings/ briefing18/ index.asp www.un1503petition. com
http://www.families link.co.uk/
http://www.parental -alienation. info/
http://www.bailii. org/ew/cases/ EWCA/Civ/ 2005/573. htmlhttp://www.bailii. org/ew/cases/ EWCA/Civ/ 2005/759. html
http://www.telegrap h.co.uk/news/ main.jhtml? xml=/news/ 2006/09/14/ nlaw114.xml
http://www.fathers. ca/lord_justice_ wall.htmhttp://www.bailii. org/ew/cases/ EWCA/Civ/ 2006/1199. html

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