To determine the utility of a parenting education program for fathers of infants, and to determine which fathers benefited.
Fathers' perceptions of the program's utility were captured in a brief, structured interview. Using secondary data analysis, pretest/posttest father-infant interaction scores of fathers who improved were compared with those of fathers who did not. Demographic predictors of improvement were identified using multiple regression.
Community sample of 81 adult, English-speaking, primarily European Canadian, first-time fathers of 5-month-old infants, who participated in the intervention group of a randomized controlled trial.
When infants were 5 and 6 months old, videotaped self-modeling and positive feedback about father-infant interaction were provided by specially trained nurses.
Father-infant interaction was assessed at baseline (5 months) and outcome (8 months) using the Nursing Child Assessment Teaching Scale.
Fathers found the program useful, indicating that their needs for educational programs are different from mothers. Controlling for baseline interactions, demographic variables did not significantly predict fathers' outcome interactions.
The program may prove useful in public health settings where implementing programs for fathers of infants is a priority. Future research needs to explore other predictors to identify fathers who will benefit from the program.