Over the last six years, the Boston College Center for Work & Family (BCCWF) has completed a series of research studies on the changing face of fatherhood in America. In 2009, we recognized that the lack of high- quality, in-depth research on fathers had led to many misconceptions, including:
Inaccurate portrayals of fathers in the media
Outdated workplace assumptions about the caregiv- ing roles that fathers play
Employer work-family programs targeted, explicitly or implicitly, at women, making men reluctant to take advantage of these offerings
Increased work-family conflict for fathers that is not widely recognized or understood
We have been gratified that The New Dad series has contributed to a growing body of knowledge about the experiences and expectations of today’s fathers and has catalyzed a significant increase in the national dialogue on this important subject.
This year, our goal is to summarize the state of the research that is being done on fathers to draw a more complete and accurate portraitof today’s new dad. In this report, we will draw from our own work and the research of other leading scholars, in order to provide a deeper understanding of men, careers, and their work & family successes and challenges in the 21st Century.Our own research has focused mainly on U.S. fathers who work in large corporations, and what we offer here is best seen as a portrait of those men – primarily “white collar dads” who are college educated, work as profes- sionals and managers, and are mostly living in dual- parent households.
This report is organized around ten common questions we hear about these fathers and we hope it provides a clearer picture of today’s new dads.