Fatherhood of a Premature Infant: “A Rough Roller-Coaster Ride”

Zipora Strauss, Michal Avrech Bar, Varda Stanger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A man’s transition to fatherhood is one of the most significant changes in his life. The birth of the baby prematurely makes this transition a difficult experience. Study objectives included a better understanding of the range of experiences of fathers of premature infants and building new work procedures according to our findings. We used a qualitative content analysis design. We interviewed 26 fathers just prior to their infant’s discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit. Our findings reveal a growing trend of the father taking on a more significant role in the care of the infant and equal division of tasks with the mother. Although this is the trend, there are fathers who prefer to keep to the traditional paternal role of standing aside or behind the mother. Pursuant to these findings, specific work procedures for fathers were formulated, and information booklets for fathers and mothers were planned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)982-1000
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • fathers
  • parenthood
  • premature baby
  • qualitative
  • role transition


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