The Other Parent: An Exploratory Survey of Providers’ Engagement of Fathers in Pediatric Primary Care

Brandon S. Allport, Barry Solomon, Sara Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Although father engagement in pediatric care is associated with positive child health outcomes, pediatric primary care providers (PCPs) often focus on the mother-child dyad. This study sought to characterize pediatric PCPs’ engagement of fathers in care. Pediatric PCPs affiliated with an academic health system were invited to complete an online survey. The primary outcome was the proportion of providers who routinely implement American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for father engagement. There were 100 respondents. Of the 23 recommended practices for engaging fathers, 18 were routinely implemented by <50% of respondents. The least routinely implemented practices were parenting skills support (4%) and perinatal depression screening (5%). The most commonly endorsed barriers included lack of father attendance at visits (91%) and time constraints (75%). Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, pediatric PCPs do not routinely engage fathers in care. Effective strategies are needed to reduce barriers and improve father engagement among pediatric providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical pediatrics
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • family triad
  • family-centered care
  • father engagement
  • father involvement
  • paternal depression
  • pediatric primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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