Fathers In The Early Years

Dr Gitit Kadar-Satat & Dr Alison Koslowski, University of Edinburgh

This is a report of the key findings and recommendations following a research project exploring how working fathers in Scotland balance their work and family life. (A summary pdf document is available here or full report here.) 

The focus is on fathers with children under the age of 5 years, who live in a two parent dual-earner household wherein their partner is also in employment. This research investigates what support fathers might benefit from in the workplace in order to reach their full professional potential and be able to fully engage in family life to the extent they want. To this aim, six questions were considered:

  1. What types of family friendly policies and flexible working arrangements do fathers have access to in their workplace?
  2. Which work-related family friendly policies and flexible working arrangements do fathers make use of?
  3. What work arrangements hinder or promote fathers' engagement in their young children's upbringing and family life?
  4. What work arrangements hinder or promote fathers' engagement with their career?
  5. What do fathers know about paternity and parental leave?
  6. What types of policies and support do fathers desire in order to improve their work-family balance?

To answer these questions, the project applied a mixed methods approach and analysed:

a) Two large-scale longitudinal datasets, namely the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) and Growing Up in Scotland (GUS).

b) A set of 20 in-depth interviews specifically commissioned for this piece of research with fathers of children aged below 5 years. This research is undertaken collaboratively by the University of Edinburgh and Fathers Network Scotland for the Scottish Government.

A summary pdf document is available here or full report here

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