Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Understanding the At-Home Dad

A couple of months ago, I posted a brief item on a survey being conducted by researchers at the University of Texas-Austin. The researchers promised to send along some of their findings, but I wasn't confident I'd ever hear back. So I was delightfully surprised to get a summary back yesterday. I've posted the text in full here, but I wanted to break out some of the results.

For starters, 213 of you took the time to fill out the survey (that doesn't count me, since I'm just too far removed from any definition of SAHD to be able to participate in good conscience).

It sounds like there was a lot of variation in the results, but -- on average -- you at-home dads are as happy (if not happier) than the average bear. Those of you who have good social support, who have confidence in your parenting skills, and who don't worry about adhering to traditional "male" norms and values are the most likely to be happy.

The final word from Aaron Rochlen, Ph.D., the professor who sent along the results:

Of course, these results are very interesting to us and will undoubtedly be a nice contribution to the (small) literature on stay-at-home dads and more broadly men and masculinity.  Some of the results may be surprising to you while others may see it all as “common sense.”  You may also think of your own pattern as fitting in with these results or not at all. In the paper, we will be commenting much more on the implications, limitations, and the need for more research on this topic.

My hope is that maybe you all can take a small piece of this study and think about how it fits (or doesn’t fit) into your unique situation.

But for now, I did want to share these results with everyone who participated. Again, I  thank everyone for participating and contributing to this area of research.

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