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J Community Health Nurs. 2012;29(2):91-105. doi: 10.1080/07370016.2012.670573.

Choosing fatherhood: how teens in the justice system embrace or reject a father identity.

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Samuel Merritt University, School of Nursing, 3100 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609, USA.


The purpose of this qualitative study was to further the understanding of father identity and role development among adolescents involved in the justice system. Youth who were expecting a child or parenting an infant and who were incarcerated, arrested, or had admitted to criminal behavior participated in interviews and observations in a juvenile detention center and in the community. Data analysis revealed 4 patterns of fathering intentions: (a) embracing fatherhood, (b) being barred from fatherhood, (c) being ambivalent about fatherhood, or (d) rejecting fatherhood. Community health nurses can use this information to assess father identity status and address factors that interfere with father engagement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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