We conducted the first ever Australia-wide online survey of fathers about their needs and preferences for parenting programs, and the results are in!
Based on the findings from this survey, we have developed ParentWorks: an online parenting program designed to meet the needs and preferences of fathers as well as mothers. This free, father-friendly parenting program will be available from mid-August 2016 at www.parentworks.org.au
You can view our results summary and read more about the survey findings below.
1001 fathers completed an online survey of their experiences with, and opinions about, parenting programs. Fathers were on average 42 years old and their children were on average 9 years old. Fathers tended to be married (76%) and most (86%) were extremely or very involved in their child’s life.
Click here to view a one page summary of the key results.
Child Behaviour and Emotional Problems
Fathers’ responses indicated that about two thirds (64%) of children showed average levels of behavioural or emotional difficulties, 9% of children demonstrated slightly raised levels of difficulties, 9% demonstrated high levels of difficulties and 19% demonstrated very high levels of difficulties.
Only 15% of fathers had participated in a parenting program or treatment for their child’s behaviour; however, participation tended to be higher (33%) amongst fathers who reported that their child had high or very high behavioural or emotional difficulties. Of those who had participated, around half found the programs helpful to either their child’s behaviour (52%) or their own parenting (49%).
Why Don’t Fathers Participate?
Most commonly, fathers indicated that they had not participated in parenting programs because they did not feel that their child’s behaviour was a problem (39%), they did not feel that they needed help with parenting (29%), they were concerned about the cost of the service (20%), they had work commitments (20%) and/or they did not know whether programs were effective (17%).
Fathers’ Preferences for Different Types of Programs
Internet-based programs appeared most preferred by fathers (72%), followed by one-off seminars (69%). Fathers were most interested in learning about the topics of bully-proofing their child (23%), helping their child with social skills (20%) and helping their child to solve problems without aggression (19%).