Becoming a father: a qualitative study on the journey to fatherhood
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Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Submission date: 2023-02-07
Final revision date: 2023-11-25
Acceptance date: 2023-11-29
Online publication date: 2024-01-03
Corresponding author
Václav Škvařil   

Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Health Psychology Report 2024;12(2):97-111
The transition to fatherhood represents one of the most significant changes in a man’s life and brings many challenges. Despite the great importance of this period, empirical data on it are not abundant, with only a small amount of psychologi-cal research on fatherhood available in the Czech Republic; this topic is also rather marginalized abroad. This qualitative study aims to explore men’s unique experiences with the process of becoming a father and to understand how paternal iden-tity is shaped.

Participants and procedure:
Four men who had recently become fathers participated in the research. A semi-structured interview was conducted with each of them.

Using the interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) approach, an in-depth analysis of the data identified five signifi-cant categories that emerge during the transition to fatherhood: responsibility and commitment to the child, father identity formation, fatherhood and motherhood, changes in the partner relationship and coping with the father role.

The research suggests that the process of becoming a father is a long-term dynamic process, in which father identity is shaped and consolidated through a variety of situations and experiences. Within this process, paternal identity is also shaped through repeated comparisons and definitions of the role of the mother. Process of becoming a father involves de-velopmental, identity, personality, partnership and family aspects.

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