Bringing leisure in: the benefits and importance of leisure to non-resident fatherhood and parent-child contact

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Jenkins, JM 2013, 'Bringing leisure in: the benefits and importance of leisure to non-resident fatherhood and parent-child contact', in T Freire (ed.), Positive leisure science: from subjecctive experience to social contexts, Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, pp. 175-191. ISBN: 9789400750579

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In many countries, increasing numbers of divorce, de facto separation and non-marital childbirth are among a number of factors that have led to more and more fathers not sharing the same home address with their children. Despite increasing evidence that fathers can be central to their children’s education, health and well-being, and that for many non-resident fathers contact with their children is important and highly desirable but inadequate, research on non-resident fathers, fathering, fatherhood and family dynamics as aspects of contemporary western society and family life is lacking (e.g. Marsiglio W et al. J Marriage Family, 62(November): 1173–1191, 2000; Kay T, Leisure Stud, 25(2):125–131, 2006a; Rosenberg J, Wilcox WB, The importance of fathers in the healthy development of children. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, 2006). Being a father is already very complicated and the concept of fathering is being increasingly complicated by a range of factors. These factors include changing family structures and patterns (e.g. increasing numbers of working mothers); changes in how societies conceptualise fathering and fatherhood; the widely varying expectations of fathers particularly with respect to work, play and their relationships with their families; increasing family diversity; and the growing numbers of non-resident fathers (e.g. Cabrera NJ et al. Child Dev, 71(1):127–136, 2000; deVaus D, Diversity and change in Australian families: Statistical profiles. Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne, 2004; Smyth B, J Family Stud 10(1):20–49, 2004a; Parent-child contact and post-separation parenting arrangements. Research report no. 9. Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne, 2004b; Int J Family Law, Policy Family 19:1–22, 2005a; Post-separation patterns of parenting in Australia: who opts for what and why? Ph.D. thesis, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Swinburne, 2005b).