The experience of fatherhood for separated non-resident Irish fathers

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Byrne, Ronan
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BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
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Using qualitative descriptive analysis this study sought to understand how separated non-resident fathers experience changes in the role of fatherhood after separation. The fathers of this study portrayed fatherhood as multi-dimensional with a particular emphasis on developing a social and emotional relationship with their children. The major issue for the fathers after separation was their loss of influence in their children’s lives which was related to their limited contact with their children. The key determining factor in how the fathers experienced the changes in fatherhood after separation was the adversarial relationship with their ex-wife, in which fathers positioned themselves with a sense of perceived disadvantage in relationship to their wife as they endeavoured to remain involved in their children’s lives.