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Becoming a Father

Contemporary Social, Developmental, and Clinical Perspectives

— Winner of a 1995 “Book of the Year” Award from the American Journal of Nursing —


  • Editors: Jerrold Lee Shapiro, Martin Greenberg, Michael J. Diamond

  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company

  • ISBN 978-0826184009

  • 1st Edition

  • Publication date: July 1, 1995

  • Pages: 381

  • Copyright Year: 1995


This volume is the most comprehensive anthology available on the psychology of early fatherhood. Of interest to social psychologists, family therapists, and mental health professionals interested in men's issues, the book explores the dramatic increase in the involvement of fathers in pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting, as well as the implications of fatherhood from a sociocultural, psychodynamic, and personal perspective. The book focuses on the critical contributions to the healthy development of children made by fathers; it also addresses the challenges clinicians and other professionals face in helping young men effectively learn about fathering, especially the limits of traditional fathering in the context of dramatic changes over the past several decades. In bringing together empirical research, developmental observation, clinical insights, pragmatic advice, and personal subjective reactions (including those related to poetry and music), this widely honored book has become a sourcebook for informed mental health clinicians and researchers. Social psychologists, family therapists, and mental health professionals interested in men’s issues will find this volume of particular interest. Contributors include: Michael J. Diamond; Diane Ehrensaft; W. Ernest Freud; Alan Gurwitt; Michael Lamb; Ronald Levant; Sam Osherson; Joseph Pleck; William Pollack; Kyle Pruett; and Peter Wolson.


Why We Edited and Contributed to This Book

My co-editors, Jerry Shapiro and Marty Greenberg, and I sought to bring together wide-ranging, eminent writers and workers in the field to address the psychology of becoming a father. In particular, given the lack of attention paid to fathering in the social sciences, we sought to explore the father’s importance in the development of both his sons and his daughters. Our goal was that the book would serve both as a reference source and as a guide to the complex transformations that men experience as they become fathers. We addressed the phenomenon from both objective, empirical observations and clinical, subjective perspectives.


Published Reviews and Endorsement

Becoming a Father is a sourcebook for practitioners who work with men. It takes up the challenge of fostering good fathering in a society that often seems unsupportive of this goal. Twenty-seven chapters, written by an impressive array of experts on the psychology of early fatherhood, are dived into three sections. Yet the implicit perspectives and assumptions represented in this volume are largely consistent with the work of Erik H. Erickson [who] coined the term generativity—caring for and contributing to the life of the next generation. Generativity frames the book’s major theme: the reciprocal benefits existing between child and caregiver. Viewing Becoming a Father through the lens of Eriksonian theory helps delineate its major arguments and themes and highlights its overall contribution to our practical knowledge of fatherhood. It is this knowledge that the practicing professional will find particularly useful.” Contemporary Psychology
Becoming a Father speaks eloquently about the critical contributions fathers make to the healthy development of children. By bringing together so many of the experts and writers in the field of fathering, Becoming a Father is invaluable in its contribution to the support of research and understanding of the often-unappreciated Daddy.” Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D. Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School


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