Where are the Fathers in Social Work Literature? Revisiting the Question.

Journal Name
Families in Society
Journal Volume
Journal Issue
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Greif, Geoffrey L.
Greif, Jennifer L.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
Resource Language
This article reviews the five key social work journals for the years 1988-1996. These journals had a total subscription of 168,000 during the mid-point of this nine-year span. The five journals published a combined total of 30 issues per year, ranging from 4 to 10 issues. A total of 2,323 feature articles were published in 270 issues during that period. The earlier depictions of fathers in the articles as perpetrators and as embattled have been superseded. The emerging view of fathers as nurturing is reflected in other sources. Thus, the view of the father as perpetrator and as someone to fear is clearly declining and the perception of the father as having the capacity to play a hands-on and positive parenting role with children is becoming more prevalent. This signals a more sympathetic perspective that may compensate for earlier research that either ignored the father's role in the family or did not view it in a favorable light. Although the total number of articles on fathers has increased, particular groups of fathers continue to be ignored, specifically, gay fathers and married fathers. In fact, a search for both topics in the journal Social Work Abstracts, covering all of the social work literature, revealed only one citation for each. (Author abstract)

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