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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Geri R. Donenberg, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This third edition contains 16 well-written chapters addressing fathers, fatherhood, and the impact of father-child relationships on children. Chapters review diverse areas of paternal influence across different developmental stages (e.g., infancy, adolescence) and under special circumstances (e.g., gay fathers, divorce, child psychopathology). The role of the father is considered within a broad social context (e.g., marital quality, ethnicity).
Purpose: The purpose is to review what is known about the role of fathers in child development and to offer an update of current scholarship and research by knowledgeable experts in the field. The author's goal is to shape conceptions of and research on fatherhood for years to come. These are noteworthy objectives, and the author accomplishes his goal.
Audience: It appears to be written primarily for academic researchers in developmental, clinical, and social psychology. Mental health professionals will also find the book useful for illuminating important paternal influences on children's psychological adjustment. The contributors represent some of the most knowledgeable and recognized experts in the field.
Features: Chapters are divided into subsections to facilitate easy reading. There are few tables and figures in the book. Reference lists are extensive and current. Both a subject and author index are provided.
Assessment: This book makes an important contribution to psychology, a field that has traditionally focused on mothers and the role of mothers in child development. This book is unique in its emphasis on fathers and its effort to highlight the many and varied roles fathers play in children's development. Chapter authors effectively integrate and summarize recent theory and research to provide an up-to-date understanding of fatherhood. This book is likely to be a definitive source for those interested in father-child relationships and paternal influences on children.