Men's constructions of mothering: growing up in father-absent families

Document Type


Publication details

East, L, Hutchinson, M, Power, T & Jackson, D 2017, 'Men's constructions of mothering: growing up in father-absent families', International Journal of Men's Health, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 37-48.

Peer Reviewed



The purpose of this article is to consider adult men’s retrospective constructions of mothering and growing up in father-absent households. An exploratory qualitative design using semi-structured interviews was utilised and interviews were conducted with 21 adult men. Collected data were transcribed verbatim and subject to thematic analysis. Findings revealed memories of loss and missed opportunities, poverty and disadvantage. Men recollected their mothers attempting to balance their physical and financial security with their emotional needs. Findings from this study suggest that men who experience father absence from an early age can experience an ongoing sense of loss and disadvantage that may be carried throughout life. We recommend this population of men be provided with opportunities to disclose feelings about their experiences as father-absent boys when coming into contact with health and social services.

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