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Palgrave Macmillan

Father Time: The Social Clock and the Timing of Fatherhood

ISBN 9781137372710
Publication Date June 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Becoming a parent is a pivotal, transformational life event. It is well-established that women about to become mothers undergo enormous changes physically, personally, and socially, but we know far less about the experiences of expectant and new fathers. Men's biological clocks may not be ticking loudly, but their social and psychological clocks may be chiming more than we realize. In an accessible and clear style, Goldberg investigates the importance of the timing of fatherhood. What does it mean to become a father for the first time and how is the experience affected by the period in adult life in which it occurs? Does it matter for men's development and quality of life if they become fathers early in their adult lives or wait until their mid-30s or later? Is it beneficial for men to 'synchronize their clocks', to be in-step with social norms for the timing of parenthood? This book examines differences in the timing of fatherhood for men's identity, well-being, marriage, work, relationships with their own parents, interactions with their new baby, and sense of themselves as fathers.

With a foreword by Ross D. Parke, Father Time: The Social Clock and the Timing of Fatherhood presents data collected from expectant and new fathers. Quantitative and qualitative analyses reveal interesting and surprising associations between early, on-time, and delayed entry into fatherhood and men's adaptation to pregnancy and parenthood.

Wendy A. Goldberg is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior in the School of Social Ecology and in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine, USA. She has studied fathers, and fatherhood, for over 30 years and has published numerous scholarly articles about fathers and an edited volume about the transition to parenthood.

Foreword by Ross D. Parke
1. Men in Transition
2. Is There a Social Clock for Men?
3. Why Do Men Want to Become Parents?
4. The Inner Self: Identity, Well-being, and Personality Characteristics of Expectant and New Fathers
5. Couple Time: Marital Quality and the Timing of Fatherhood
6. Time to Work: Work Involvement and the Timing of Fatherhood
7. Intergenerational Relationships and the Timing of Fatherhood
8. Any Time for Fun?
9. Fathers and their Babies: Does Timing Matter?
10. The Timing of Fatherhood: What Have We Learned?


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