An international team of researchers, led by Professor Mark Dadds at the University of Sydney, has been awarded $2.6 million by the Movember Foundation for the Like Father Like Son Project. This three year project aims to bring together a national collaboration of health researchers, clinicians, policy leaders and consumer groups with the aim of improving the rates of father participation in parenting programs.
Childhood behaviour problems are a key risk factor for later antisocial behavior and violence, as well as other adult mental health issues. The key to stopping the intergenerational transmission of these problems is through healthy parenting. Evidence-based parenting programs are effective in reducing the early signs of violence and antisocial behaviour, but fathers are much less likely to participate than mothers. Importantly, research tells us that parenting programs are more effective when fathers participate.
This project will investigate a range of innovative strategies for enhancing participation of fathers in evidence-based programs and services for childhood behaviour problems at the national level. We will conduct surveys and focus groups for fathers about their preferences for content and delivery methods as well as surveys for clinicians about their experiences in working with fathers. These surveys and focus groups will inform the development of key strategies in the program which include: