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%).