eCite Digital Repository

Addressing the needs of first-time fathers in Tasmania: a qualitative study of father-only antenatal groups


Nash, M, Addressing the needs of first-time fathers in Tasmania: a qualitative study of father-only antenatal groups, Australian Journal of Rural Health, 26, (2) pp. 106-111. ISSN 1038-5282 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2017 National Rural Health Alliance Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1111/ajr.12371


Objective: To examine how first-time fathers in rural Tasmania experienced father-only antenatal support/ education groups.

Design: Semistructured interviews with expectant fathers were used for this study. Purposive sampling was used to recruit fathers in 2014. Participants were recruited face-to-face via email through a government health service and not-for-profit organisation that runs a state-wide fatherhood program. Several participants were recruited through a company that holds antenatal education classes for men in a pub. Data were analysed thematically.

Setting: Three rural Tasmanian areas (South, Central Coast and Northern Midlands). Participants: Twenty-five men from three rural areas of Tasmania, ≥18 years, about to become first-time father with partner at least 20 weeks pregnant. Main outcome measure(s): Semistructured interviews explored menís experiences of father-only antenatal education groups.

Results: Four themes emerged from the thematic analysis: (i) motivations for attending antenatal groups; (ii) the effect of the group setting on menís experiences; (iii) masculine stereotypes in antenatal groups; and (iv) strategies to support fathers. Data show men wanted to join the groups and learn about being an involved father. They often felt uncomfortable sharing experiences in discussion-based groups. They tended to prefer information-based groups which were not premised on sharing emotions. Men offered strategies to improve father-only antenatal education groups.

Conclusion: Tasmanian antenatal education/support programs need improvement. Providing men with multiple opportunities to connect with other fathers is critical to improving support. Groups can be improved by accounting for multiple and complex constructions of masculinity, increasing the number of sessions offered and altering the structure.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:father, antenatal, rural, childbirth,antenatal education, fatherhood, masculine identities, pregnancy
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Nash, M (Associate Professor Meredith Nash)
ID Code:117742
Year Published:2018 (online first 2017)
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-06-27
Last Modified:2021-10-29

Repository Staff Only: item control page