The experiences of fathers in the perinatal period

Reeves, Emily Elizabeth

Clinical psychology
June 2016

Thesis or dissertation

© 2016 Emily Elizabeth Reeves. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This thesis portfolio is comprised of three parts: a systematic literature review, an empirical study and a set of appendices.

Part one is a systematic literature review in which existing empirical literature relating to fathers’ representations of their unborn children during pregnancy is reviewed. A total of 15 studies is critically evaluated and assessed for quality. Their findings are then collated to examine the manner in which fathers represent their unborn children and the factors which influence the development of these representations. These findings are discussed in relation to clinical implications and directions for future research.

Part two is an empirical paper which explores fathers’ experiences of the perinatal period in the context of maternal mental health problems. The study employed a narrative approach in the exploration of forty fathers’ stories of this time. Both elicited and pre-existing online stories were included. The holistic form and content of the stories was examined in an attempt to gain insight into the factors and processes that contribute to differential outcomes for families within this period. The findings are discussed in reference to the Developmental Systems Framework of Family Resilience (Walsh, 2016) and clinical implications are presented.

Part three is a complete set of appendices of parts one and two. The supporting information for the systematic literature review and empirical study are presented, in addition to epistemological and reflective statements to provide further context for the undertaken research.

Department of Psychological Health and Wellbeing, The University of Hull
Glover, Lesley; Jomeen, Julie; Alexander, Tim (Clinical psychologist)
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