This presentation will focus on the unique contributions of fathers to children’s development. There is abundant research that highlights the importance of mothers in the lives of children and there is increasing support that positively involved fathers are equally important. However, most people are not able to articulate why fathers are important to children beyond being a financial provider. Dr Shears will share his years of research along with his personal experiences in rearing three daughters to offer insights on positive and effective fathering. Specifically, the discussion will focus on the importance of fathers’ presence, how fathering attitudes and behaviors differ across race and ethnicity, the importance of fathers in the lives of daughters and sons, and how men learn to father. This discussion is vitally important as we often enter relationships and parenthood with preconceived notions about parental roles. It also allows us to dialogue about an important topic that is often overlooked and not adequately discussed within families.
Jeffrey Shears, Ph.D., is a joint appointed Professor in the Social Work Departments at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University & UNC-Greensboro, where he is also the Director of the Joint Masters Social Work Program (JMSW). Dr. Shears earned his BSW and Masters in Education Administration from North Carolina A&T State University and his Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Denver. His research interest is men (fathering, multicultural issues, HIV and AIDS) and quantitative research with an emphasis on data sharing among social service agencies. In addition, Dr. Shears has an extensive list of academic publications on fathering featured in national and internationally refereed journals. He is co-author of the acclaimed What all Dads Should Know (Createaspace Publishers, 2011).