This text reviews the impact of fatherhood on the adult developmental process. The interdisciplinary perspective addresses lifespan issues within the domains of self, social relationships, and work. Specific topics include the variety of fathering arrangements, theories about parenting, the benefits of fatherhood for men, emotional aspects of fathering, the influence of faith and morality, health, and community involvement. In addition to a review of previous research, the discussion reports the findings of a qualitative study of the experiences of 40 fathers aged 20 to 45 years old. Major themes of settling down, generosity, responsibility, nurturing the next generation, and lifestyle changes are highlighted. Most of the fathers attributed positive changes in their lives to their involvement with their children. The results support the conclusion that engaged fathering is good for the father, as well as the child and the mother. Numerous references, 2 figures, 2 tables.
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