Father-Infant Attachment and Co-Parenting: Theory and Intervention

Course code HLSC6112Units 10Level 6000Faculty of Health and MedicineSchool of Health Sciences

This course will provide students with a challenging but thorough understanding of the processes involved in the relationships formation of relationships between fathers and their infants. Recent research has questioned the traditional focus on mothers that relegated fathers to the role of 'helper'. Fathers' interactions with their infants are now the subject of increasing interest to researchers. The patterns of play, nurturing and care demonstrated by fathers is now being linked to long term child outcomes in much the same way that mother-infant interaction has been shown to affect children's development. At the same time fathers' relationship with the mother of the child is also being identified as an independent factor in plotting children's development. How couples negotiate and develop a sense of comfort with their roles as 'mother of new baby' and 'father of new baby' is only now being investigated. Both the role of fathers in co-parenting with mothers and the development of the father-infant bond have important implications for therapy and support of fathers and their families. Examples of effective practice with new fathers and their families will be described and discussed in order to develop the skills to engage with fathers and a practical framework for delivering effective programs and services for families with infants.

Available in 2015

WebLearn GradSchoolSemester 1
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesThe objectives of this course are to:
1. Develop an understanding of the evidence relating father-infant attachment
2. Develop a range of skills to assist new fathers in their role
3. Identify the key factors in successful models addressing father-infant and father-infant-mother relationships
4. Critically reflect on personal beliefs and professional responsibilities that impact on father engagement
5. Explore the implications and potential for father engagement in students’ current or potential field of employment
ContentCourse content will cover:
- Father-infant attachment concepts
- Mother-infant and father-infant attachment compared
- Threats to secure father-infant attachment and treatment models
- Co-parenting theory and evidence
- Treatment models for co-parenting
- Perinatal depression in mothers and fathers
- Delivering support to fathers and mothers in the perinatal period
- Reasons for engaging fathers
- Overview of research on father-child involvement
- Strategies and tools for engaging fathers
- Case studies from a range of disciplines
- Critical reflection on the application of father engagement in a range of fields of study
Replacing Course(s)N/A
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeRelevant Undergraduate degree or equivalent
Modes of DeliveryDistance Learning : IT Based
Teaching MethodsEmail Discussion Group
Self Directed Learning
Assessment Items
Case StudiesCase study (major assessment)
Other: (please specify)Postings in Blackboard Discussion (minor assessment)
Student ProjectsProject plan (major assessment)
Contact HoursSelf Directed Learning: for 10 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for HLSC6112