Increasing Fathers’ Involvement in Child Care With a Couple‐Focused Intervention During the Transition to Parenthood


family life education, father involvement, program evaluation, transition to parenthood


In this article, we report the results of an evaluation study of a program for couples during the transition to parenthood on father involvement in child care. One‐hundred‐twenty couples were assigned to 1 of the 3 groups: a treatment group that received the Welcome Baby new‐parent, home‐visiting program focused on infant development and health, supplemented with the self‐guided Marriage Moments program focused on strengthening couple relationships; a comparison group that received just the Welcome Baby program; or a control group. The study revealed that the treatment group fathers were more involved in child care than control group fathers, and this finding was replicated in a second evaluation study. Family life educators must be open to the possibility that they may miss a primary intervention target, yet hit a secondary one.

Original Publication Citation

Hawkins, A. J., Lovejoy, K. R., Holmes, E. K., Blanchard, V. L., & Fawcett, E. B. (2008). Increasing fathers’ involvement in childcare with a couple-focused intervention during the transition to parenthood. Family Relations, 57, 49-59.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Family Relations




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor