Approximately 25 percent of women have a child prior to age 25. The rates for men are not as well calculated, however, the average age of becoming a father is between 26 and 27 years old and race and ethnic minority men and less educated men become parents at significantly younger ages than their white or highly-educated counterparts. Despite the high prevalence of young parenthood, relatively little is known about the specific needs of young parents. Even less is known about the needs of young fathers or the strategies that programs and communities can take to engage and strengthen these men.
To fill this gap in the research, CFRP is partnering with the Annie E. Casey Foundation to better understand the unique challenges and needs of younger parents, paying particular attention to young fathers. CFRP is examining the challenges that young fathers face in their role as a parent, how these challenges differ from those faced by young mothers and older parents, and the strategies and approaches that providers can use to effectively engage and serve young fathers.
The study involves:
- an analysis of existing data to identify the needs of young parents and the extent to which father involvement in parenting programs is associated with maternal and child wellbeing
- a series of focus groups with young fathers and mothers, and providers who serve young parents to determine the needs of young fathers and the strategies that are most effective for serving them
- adding an emphasis on young fathers to a state-level interagency coalition focused on fathers
- the development of a series of trainings and online tools that providers and researchers can use to better serve and study young fathers
For more about CFRP work about fathers, go to Publications > Fatherhood.