Role of the father during different life stages

The Daddy: Subjective evaluation of life history narratives of adults about the role of their fathers at different phases of their life.


Over the years the role of father as an important influential part of child's life, from the very starting has been dismissed. The father is cured as the 3rd person in a mother-child romance dyad; he only makes picture in old age of the child's life as gender role model. He is taken as the breadwinner of the family, who is faraway, punitive, indifferent and authoritarian; instigating fear and a sense of behavior in the child. He hasn't been taken as one who has the need to psychologically connect with his progeny like the mother. Moreover interpersonal stereotypes of masculinity and heroism related to male make it even harder to picture a daddy being nurturing, loving and holding female qualities of a mother. But with time the role of father has improved, in this twenty-first century with advancement of dual-earner individuals where mothers earn too. Now the parenting responsibilities caregiver is divided between both the parents. With conception of single-parent and homosexual households, parenting has touched new dimensions.

This paper is an try to defy all these place ideas about the father, and bring to light the real characteristics of the father and the nature of his role throughout his child's life, through in-depth interview of young adults about their earlier experiences using their fathers at different periods of life, and exactly how these contributed with their overall development. As this study analyses the belief of young adults of the fathers, it offers us the insight into needs of children at different phases of life. You can find few research that contain examined the dynamics of father-child romance, making this make an effort even more meaningful as an effort for adding more info on this subject matter, especially in Indian setting, because with urbanization the family system in India is changing and with this change which shift in parenting style. The results of this analysis would help professionals to better understand a child's need from a daddy which would assist him to help those fathers who are to-be-fathers, having problem working with the children, new to parenthood, solo- parents, principal caregiver of the child, or going right through separation/divorce and also have children. It could also make it easy to comprehend the unfulfilled needs of those children at different point of life whose fathers have been absent using their company life.

This research tries to answer the following questions

Is the daddy as important as the mom within an individual's life? Is he as able a father or mother as the mother based on the individual?

What are the various functions of the father at different phases of life?

How does the existence or absence of father change lives to the young adult's notion in today's? (absence here include fathers who have died, have empty family or are segregated from mother)


According to Freudian psychoanalytical view the daddy is considered to be a fear instigating factor in a son's life scheduled to which he identifies with him, but James E. Lieberman (1991) in his notice, "WHY OEDIPUS REALLY LOVED HIS Daddy", states it had not been the jealousy that made Oedipus kill his biological father but a mere accident and take action of trend, and during this action he was ignorant to the fact that Laius is his natural father. It had been love, Oedipus acquired for his adoptive daddy, Polybus that made him leave his home in fear of committing the criminal offenses of eradicating him and marrying his own mother, as he was unaware of the actual fact that he was their adoptive boy. Thus in this article Lieberman helps it be clear a father is greater than a sperm-donor, e. i. his role as a daddy involves more than being biologically parent. In another research study founded psychoanalytical view of role of father as "being the one who castrates" shows the value of recognition with him as a gender role model for son for healthy development of erotic orientation later in life (Paulo R. Ceccarelli and Belo Horizonte, 2003). This review explains that the lack/absence of any father who requires admiration from the boy and lay down strong secure foundation for him to task his oedipal complexes by constantly determining limits, can result in "the engineering of the 'nostalgia of the father's protection' as the transformation of this daddy in to the symbolic daddy" and his projection of his dependence on a father figure onto his erotic associates and also defining his sexual choice (the cases detailed in the study were of sons who possessed homosexual orientation). Even Freud himself cannot deny his deep rooted need of your dad, clear from his offer, "I cannot think of any need in youth as strong as the need for a father's protection". (Sigmund Freud (1:72)). This is the reason he tried to act as a defensive daddy towards his clients to supply them with a fully including environment. Relating to Zoja (2001) in his publication 'The Father: Historical, Psychological, and Cultural Perspectives' with Jungian analytical view, highlights that a dad can never be considered a true dad because he can never accept his female archetype as he has not been able reconcile his role of daddy to that of being the sperm-donor and has been constantly over projecting his incompetence over his spouse. Moreover he clarifies that a one mother can expect the role of any dad in preadolescent many years of the kid because the woman has had the opportunity to reconcile her role of mother with her role of lover, but later dues change in group dynamics and development of idea of gender-identity in adolescent years, need for a genuine male father shape arises, for these adolescents form 'gangs' which 'have a crude and regressive masculine psychology' and its own unconscious function is to issue the dad' just like the gangs of family pets are placed in masculine hierarchy. Lisa Miller (2004) in 'The Oedipus sophisticated as observed in work with lovers and their children', in the information of her first case in the paper shows the way the mother's unresolved Oedipus complexes and the nostalgia related to her own father got projected on her behalf daughter and hubby, managed to get difficult for the father and daughter to form an independent bond of their own. Hence it's quite clear from psychoanalytical perspective that the father isn't only very important to a child's natural being but also for his/her mental being.

According to the writer with the Daddy Move, Jeremy Adam Smith (2009) in last decade there's been a move (increase) in the involvement of father in child rearing/care-giving activities though most of the research still highlight it being significantly less than that of moms, alone it is a major change in the dynamics of family structure. He says that shift does not demarks the loss of masculinity and electric power in fathers but permits the daddy to actively build relationships his child apart from just aiming to upheld his breadwinner position in family so that his children can enjoy greatest luxuries of life. He argues that primarily the providing and car-giving duties were evenly divided between the two parents, but with industrialization and emergence of patriarchal world the functions of mother and father obtained a stereotypical role. Knowledge the increase in women job in the twentieth century again the father may take part actively as a person in his child's life with the financial support from his spouse. This does not mean he is taking over the role of the mother, who continues to stay the centre of the child's primary world but providing the kid with more responsible paternal nurturance which has gone missing from the child's life before emancipation of women. Thus throughout his publication he stresses on the importance of a father throughout the life span of the kid from the beginning itself. Helping his values and findings Trevena Moore and Milton Kotelchuck (2004) advocates the participation of urban fathers in their child's healthcare for a better over-all development of child. Even Pruett (2010) in his paper the Role of the daddy theories from the findings of his study that having one's father as female nurturing shape during early on developmental maturation, while one's mother remained very close (most mothers continued to breastfeed after returning to work), creates a bedrock trust and comfort with present and future man and female items.

Pruett (2000) in his e book 'Fatherneed: Why Father care is really as essential as Mother care for Your Child?' through his findings show that small children interact differently with the fathers in comparison to their moms, they seek comfort from moms and discussion with fathers, as mothers quickly supply them with reassurance but fathers encourage them to tolerate frustration a little longer thus supporting them to build up into parents with greater ego-strength and disappointment tolerance. His study also implies that children who are actively involved with their father from beginning through adolescent calendar year have greater psychological balance, stronger interest and self-assurance. Likewise Gretchen S. Lovas (2005) reported that some fathers provide very high levels of Emotional Availability to their small children as that of the mothers and supporting the fathers improve their relationship with the children would be helpful in a better all natural development of the child as the fathers offer different skills, resources, and experience than moms and fulfill different functions in regards to to child rearing.

James R. Barclay(1980) in his research defines the role of a dad in his adolescent son's development of beliefs as that of : 'the masculine role model, the communicator (hearing different views and offering problem-solving methodologies), the moral model (striving to live somewhere between the absolutist and complete relativist) and the fallible reinforcing agent'. Sipsma, Biello, Cole-Lewis and Kershaw (2010) show that Sons of adolescent fathers were 1. 8 times more likely to be adolescent fathers than were sons of elderly fathers, as they lacked proper daddy body in their early on as their father themselves have not mature enough to supply them with the strong security which is associated with a father. Jones, Kramer, Armitage and Williams (2003) exhibited that the identified quality of father-son (and mother-son) connection was adversely correlated with mental separation: better the recognized quality, the less psychologically segregated these were. Adolescent boys with non-resident fathers who possessed more frequent connection with their fathers experienced less emotional separation plus more of overall healthy separateness. Thus the participation of dad in a child's adolescent years especially the boy is more important in order to provide him with better gender role and therefore keeping a check up on child's maladaptive behaviors such as that of participating in early sexual relationships, committing delinquency and abusing substances.

As the kid steps into adulthood the parents part of their old-age which grades a reasonable surge in their problems about one another. In a report by E. L. Hay, K. L. Fingerman, and E. S. Lefkowitz (2007) show that men and women worry about their parents diminishing health irrespective of their gender but the extent of be anxious is determined by the mental investment both the father or mother and the adult child did in their relationship. The demise of father greatly affect the child's development and his absence helps it be harder for the kid to release away the figment he/she carries of him which eventually impacts the later personal relations. Natasha Tarpley's (1994) do it yourself narrative about her 'yearning for Daddy' adequately describes the emotional trauma a kid goes through that has been close to her/his dad and also shows how the child grows up with a void that cannot be loaded except by the father himself.

Hence it could be clearly seen from above overview of literature that a father is neither just a third person in a mother-child nor only a breadwinner of the family, but he is prominent important person in his child's life. His physical and subconscious presence or absence makes a major difference in the way the child as an adult will establish.

Therefore it is very important to review the role of dad in a child's life from his/her perspective because as a father, the father or mother is rewarding certain specific needs of the kid which can be best identified by the child, himself/herself.


Individual experience is a trend which is often best defined by the subject who experiences it. As the content of research is analysis of the young men and women' (18-25yrs) subjective encounters at different stages of their life and the role their dad played out in shaping these experience, thus the study paradigm is phenomenological in dynamics.

The theoretical construction is that of a communal constructionist, because it emerges with a certain idea of reality and is based on the assumption that we now have multiple realities as actuality varies from person to person. Its theory develops by inspecting the themes of the content of the subjective information of simple fact thus the original perception of actuality keeps on changing with exploration of the trend.



The method of sampling is purposive and set up. The sample size is 10 which include young adults of age range 20-25years who've at least one living father or mother. Thus the study excludes those adults who've been orphan throughout their lives and the ones whose both parents passed away very early on.

Data Collection and Analysis

Collecting of data is to be done in two phases

Phase I includes selection and in-depth interview of young adults of age 20-25 years about their experiences at different levels of life and the role their fathers enjoyed in molding these experience. In phase-I a demographic data is collected from the population and individuals are decided on purposively based on the inclusion criteria of the study Then these young adults are to be interviewed intensively through unstructured interview method. By research of the subjective content of these narratives with their life histories, the overall themes are discovered. After the themes or templates are developed the second stage of data collection is usually to be carried.

In Period II a target group method is requested further analysis of the topics extracted from the comprehensive interview of every of them.

The members would be explained the type of study before collecting their demographic data. They would informed in details about the purpose of the study and guaranteed that any private information distributed to the researcher will never be made public or disclosed with no participant's consent. The consent of the individuals would be studied before conducting emphasis group discussions so that the participant does not feel uninformed. The participant would be free to back right out of the review if he/she feels it evokes too much stress and is not capable of coping with it. The consent will be in writing. The participants will have full to evaluate the results extracted from the study and may likewise have the right to complain if he/she locates any breach of confidentiality.

The data collected would be both in form of written field records and tape-recording of the narratives so that it can be re-analyzed second option. As the data would be accumulated by unstructured open-ended interview method the questions would mainly be about the partnership of the participant with the daddy and about the activities at different stages of life with the daddy and how these mould the participant's present. Thus trying to answer the study questions referred to above.

To keep a an eye on research process a time limit would be designated to each part of the process, and the daily activities would also be observed down. With conclusion of the stipulated time for a particular task in the process, the daily records pertaining to it would be summarized to check on if it requires any further attention or changes.

The data gathered would be undergo content evaluation to determine the themes under that your subjective experiences would be coded and conclusions would be attracted on basis of varied connection and family ideas to best account for the phenomenon generally.

To check the validity of the final outcome drawn from this analysis a communicative validity can be transported by opening discussing it with experts in the this field, like experts who work with families and face father-child dyads or researchers who have researched the same sensation or even the general people which of course contain fathers, moms and children of most age groups.


As the study in phenomenological in aspect and propose for an in-depth examination of the subjective content of the life span narratives, it could at least take six months and maximum of 8 calendar months to be completed.


Financial aid would be needed for the following purposes and their approximate costs are also accounted for (in Rs)

Accessing articles and data that rare not clear of the worried copyright holder, printing, binding and other related job - 4000/-

Stationary like pens, diaries for word keeping etc - 2000/-

Transportation to the place the interview would be taking place and those sites where in fact the focus group plans could be produced and arranging charges if needed - 6000/-

Instrument for recording - 3000/-

Total budget (about) - Rs 15, 000 /

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