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Risk and Protective Factors Experienced by Fathers of Refugee Background during the Early Years of Parenting: A Qualitative Study

Version 3 2024-06-19, 13:31
Version 2 2024-05-30, 17:12
Version 1 2023-02-09, 22:27
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-19, 13:31 authored by E Bulford, Ali FogartyAli Fogarty, Rebecca GialloRebecca Giallo, S Brown, J Szwarc, E Riggs
Fathers of refugee background with young children can experience significant mental health difficulties, with the potential for intergenerational impacts. This study aimed to explore how fathers of refugee background experience risk and protective factors for their own health and wellbeing during the early years of parenting. Semi-structured interviews and one semi-structured focus group were conducted with fathers of refugee background, with young children (0–5 years), who had settled in Australia. Transcribed interviews were analysed using thematic analysis, informed by the socioecological model of health. A total of 21 fathers participated in the study. Risk factors experienced included: prior experiences of trauma, reduced access to family support in Australia, adjustments in parenting roles, and the challenges of learning a new language and securing employment. Fathers drew on a number of sources of strength, including a sense of joy from fatherhood and support from partners, families, and communities. While most fathers regularly accompanied their partners and children to healthcare appointments, they were rarely asked by healthcare professionals about their own needs. Our findings support the idea that there is a need for greater assistance for fathers, particularly for navigating issues arising from the settlement process. Healthcare services working with families of refugee background must adopt a father-inclusive, trauma-informed approach that is responsive to fathers’ needs.

History

Journal

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Volume

19

Article number

ARTN 6940

Location

Switzerland

ISSN

1661-7827

eISSN

1660-4601

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

11

Publisher

MDPI