A qualitative analysis of the construction of fatherhood through the voices of children.
This study investigated the construction of fatherhood through the 'voices of children' from a selection of schools in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. An open, exploratory qualitative research design was employed. The results suggest that children's constructions are primarily contemporary in nature, as opposed to traditional stereotypical notions of fathers as providers only. Fathers were cast in a 'new father' role as loving, caring, supportive and involved. Despite contemporary constructions, children also acknowledge a wide range of father imperfections. Differences in constructions were evident between children from different socio-economic backgrounds. Increased research efforts could focus on exploring gender and socio-economic differences in greater detail. It is hoped that these findings will provide the impetus for practitioners and researchers to be more inclusive of fathers and children in research.