Father involvement: the importance of paternal Solo Care

Katherine R. Wilson, Margot R. Prior

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Paternal time spent caring for children alone is qualitatively different from time together mediated by the presence of the mother and may be particularly relevant to father–child relations. Many fathers spend minimal time alone with their children. Indeed, it is still commonly referred to as ‘babysitting’. We explored the concept of Solo Care as a conceptually discrete dimension of father involvement. Fathers and mothers in families (n = 110) with children aged 3–12 years provided qualitative and quantitative data separately in a structured interview. Several variables were considered as potential correlates of Solo Care, with parental occupation and hours of work, perceived maternal support, perceived barriers and paternal efficacy and satisfaction proving significant. Themes describing fathering satisfaction included father–child bond, pleasure in watching children grow and father–child interaction. Important benefits of Solo Care were relationship‐focused along with the opportunity to demonstrate equal competence and fathers’ differences from mothers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1391-1405
    Number of pages15
    JournalEarly Child Development and Care
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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