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Dads in the Indigenous birthing in an urban setting study

Tell My Story: Hearing from the Dads in the Indigenous Birthing in an Urban Setting (IBUS) Study

 

Project Aim:

To gain rich information on urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men’s experiences, dreams, aspirations, needs, and challenges during their partner’s pregnancy and first 6-months of parenthood.

 

Objectives:

  1. Explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s experiences, dreams, aspirations, needs, and challenges during their partner’s pregnancy to 6 month post-natal.
  2. Identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s social, cultural and psychological strengths as a partner expecting a baby and as a father.

 

Project Team:

Project leader: Dr Yvette Roe, Senior Research Fellow, University of Queensland’s Mater Research Institute
Project partners:

Administering organisation: The University of Queensland
Project timeline: 1 April 2018—9 June 2019

 

 

Methodology

The IBUS Study is a longitudinal cohort study with an overarching Participatory Action Research (PAR) Framework that enables responsive, proactive action in relation to findings. This qualitative sub-study employed in-depth, semi-structured and focus group interviews and yarning circles with eight new or expectant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dads whose partners were pregnant or had recently given birth.

It used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA); a qualitative method of analysis which is descriptive and draws knowledge from everyday experiences. The social, cultural and psychological strengths that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men exhibit in their roles as a father and a partner were identified from their accounts of everyday experiences. The analysis comprised of four steps:

  1. Coding of initial interview transcripts to identify themes and develop a coding framework.
  2. Identification and categorisation of men’s experiences using the coding framework.
  3. Examination of themes categorising men’s experiences to identify strengths they exhibit in their roles as a father and a partner.
  4. Use of key findings to inform the development of an Indigenous specific parenting program.

 

Project Findings

The positive and negative aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander new and expectant dads and the relationship with their own fathers form a background against which they build their identity as a dad. To fulfill the role of a strong and deadly dad, and become the best they can be, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander new and expectant dads need support to heal and learn from their past and manage the stress of becoming a dad.

Specifically, new and expectant dads want:

  1. maternal services that acknowledge and celebrate Indigenous fatherhood
  2. maternal services that are inclusive of dads and support them to feel more connected to their partners pregnancy and empowered to support her pregnancy journey
  3. a male worker to yarn with men and share their experiences of becoming a father
  4. yarning groups to connect with other dads.

The research also documented the benefits of parenting on the health and wellbeing of the fathers and found that strengthening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s role as parents is likely to have positive health and wellbeing benefits on the dads and can also improve child development and family wellbeing.

 

Project Outcomes

Knowledge
  • Improved understanding of the experiences of new and expectant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dads during their partner’s pregnancy and in the early post-natal period, and their perspectives of what it means to be a strong and deadly dad.
  • Produced a program logic model that articulates the key components of best-evidence community-wide strategy for IUIH to engage and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dads in South East Queensland.
Awareness
  • Improved understanding of the challenges for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men to become strong and deadly dads, and identification of opportunities for strengthening the male parenting role in urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities.
Behaviour
  • The research findings provide evidence for bringing dads together to build a community network of strong and deadly dads; fathers inclusive services, males empowering males to be strong, early intervention and supportive pathways into fatherhood, and promoting and celebrating the strengths and roles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dads.
 
Related Resources:
Project leader

Yvette Roe

Administering institution:

The University of Queensland

Completion date:

Expected March 2019