ORIGINAL PAPER
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
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
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.

Results:
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.

Conclusions:
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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