Although a great deal has been written about the development of
children, the mother-child relationship, and the differing
psychologies of women and men, the study of fathers, fathering, and
fatherhood has, until very recently, been virtually ignored.
Fathers and Their Families redresses this situation with original
contributions covering fathering and fatherhood in their
interacting psychological, familial, and social dimensions. In 28
chapters and extensive editorial commentary, the editors and their
contributors explore the changing roles of fathers - changes
prompted partly by societal shifts and partly by changes in the
family and in "traditional" parental roles. The broad questions
that guide the editors and contributors could not be more timely.
Among the topical studies contained in this collection are
illuminating examinations of fathers as single parents, readiness
for grandfatherhood, transition to fatherhood, father-daughter
relationships, and father-son relationships. Chapters involving
ruptured families, divorce and fathers, and the treatment
challenges of working with fathers, will be of special interest to
clinicians of various backgrounds and orientations. Throughout this
volume, the emphasis is less on intrapsychic and dyadic
relationships than on the total family system and the
intrafamilial, intergenerational, and societal forces that shape
paternal behavior. In this ranging , systematic approach, Fathers
and Their Families speaks to the concerns of clinical social
workers and family therapists. But it will also be enormously
helpful to psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, and clinical
psychologists, for whom it can be depended upon to broaden the
vision, and thereby enlarge the context, that informs individual
psychotherapy. For developmental psychologists, students of the
family, and clinicians alike, it promises to be a revelation, a
lifting of the blinders that for centuries have sustained that most
sacrosanct of icons, the father.
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