What are the images of fathers in the popular media? Certainly we have seen more "father involvement" in advertising products in magazines and on television; we have observed fathers in comic strips and on television. Have any of the projected images changed, and do these images reflect valid shifts in the images of fathers in our society? I have selected Fein's three historical views of fathering as a framework for this discussion. The traditional perspective is characterized by the aloof and distant father. The second perspective is the modern, which is concerned with child outcome variables of sex-role identity development, academic achievement, and moral development, all of which may be further developed by father-child contact. The emergent perspective, Fein's third conceptualization of fathering, explores the premise that men have the capacity to be effective nurturers of their children. This is reflected in some innovative research on fathering, including fathers' experience before, during, and after their children's birth; early engrossment between fathers and infants; bonds between fathers and their young children; fathers in nontraditional childcare arrangements; and the effects of parenting experiences on fathers (Fein, 1978, p. 127).



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