Father’s Day: U-M experts can discuss research involving dads
Mothers are usually credited for their nurturing roles, but fathers also play an important role in their children’s development. Father’s Day is Sunday (June 21), and University of Michigan experts are available to discuss various issues involving dads.
Tawfiq Ammari, researcher and doctoral student in the School of Information, can discuss men’s use of social media as it relates to fatherhood, as well as how parents manage disclosing personal information about their children online.
“More men are motivated to use social media to document their experiences as fathers, as well as access social support from other fathers,” he said. “Fathers coming from diverse family environments rely on online spaces to find fathers in similar experiences.”
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Brenda Volling, professor of psychology, studies the social and emotional development of infants and young children, and the role of family relationships in facilitating children’s developmental outcomes. She is particularly interested in the role of fathers.
“The common portrayal of TV fathers in the 1950s no longer applies to today’s society,” said Volling, who has studied fatherhood for nearly 30 years. “Fathers have taken on a much more substantial role over the years when it comes to caregiving. Much of what we know about parenting focuses solely on mothers, yet fathers are often the forgotten or silent contributors to children’s development.”
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Daphne Watkins, assistant professor of social work and psychiatry and co-director of the Gender and Health Research Lab, is an expert on the mental and emotional health of African-American.
“The bonds between African-American fathers and their children in the U.S. are strengthening, and social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are now being used to share these bonds with the rest of the world,” she said. “This, in combination with the number of African-American men who are not only taking better care of themselves mentally, but who are also recognizing how their mental health affects their children, is a milestone that will have a positive impact on the future of African-American families and their health.”
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Robin Edelstein, associate professor of psychology, can discuss research involving how men experience hormonal changes even before they become fathers.
“These changes could be a function of psychological changes that men experience as they prepare to become fathers, changes in their romantic relationships or even physical changes that men experience along with their pregnant partners,” she said. “Nevertheless, fathers’ hormonal changes could have important implications for paternal behavior once their babies are born.”
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