Date of Completion

Spring 4-26-2017

Thesis Advisor(s)

Beth S. Russell

Honors Major

Human Development and Family Studies


This study evaluates the implications of parenting education programs for high-risk fathers. Participants were young, underprivileged, minority, and unmarried fathers in urban Hartford. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted to identify participants’ perceptions of the program, their roles as fathers, and motivations for change. Interviews were coded using a modified version of Prochaska’s Theory of Change. Additionally, grounded theory was employed to identify major themes in the interviews regarding father involvement. A priori-like coding was used to capture the quality of relationships between the father, his co-parent, and his motivation for change. Consistent with literature, fathers that had more positive relationships with their co-parent tended to see their child more often, indicated that their relationship with their child got stronger, learned co-parenting as a skill through the program, and had a higher motivation for change. These results imply that co-parenting should continue to be a target of fathering education programs in order to increase fathers’ time and involvement with their children.