Enhancing father engagement in parenting programs: translating research into practice recommendations

Meryn E. Lechowicz*, Yixin Jiang, Lucy A. Tully, Matthew T. Burn, Daniel A. J. Collins, David J. Hawes, Rhoshel K. Lenroot, Vicki Anderson, Frances L. Doyle, Patrycja J. Piotrowska, Paul J. Frick, Caroline Moul, Eva R. Kimonis, Mark R. Dadds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
334 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Given the increasing research and practice interest in father engagement, this article aimed to develop a clinical narrative integrating the extant research literature to distil key practice recommendations for enhancing father engagement in parenting interventions for child wellbeing. Method: A narrative review of research on father engagement in interventions for child wellbeing was conducted, to identify and distil evidence-based policies and practices to enhance father engagement for practitioners and organisations. Results: Six broad policy and practice recommendations are provided that pertain to: engaging the parenting team, avoiding a father deficit model, increasing father awareness of parenting interventions, ensuring father-inclusive program content and delivery, increasing organisational support for father-inclusive practice, and increasing professional father engagement training. Conclusion: This review provides practitioners with guidelines for enhancing father engagement based on the available research. It also provides recommendations for further research regarding the effectiveness of strategies to enhance father engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Issue number2
Early online date19 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • child mental health
  • father involvement
  • parental engagement
  • parenting
  • parenting program


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