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The Lives of Young Fathers: A Review of Selected Evidence

  • Carmen Lau Clayton (a1)

While young fathers have been neglected in social research in the UK, over the past fifteen years a small but growing body of empirical evidence has emerged across a range of studies. This review article draws selectively on this literature to document the characteristics of young fathers in the UK and their lived experiences. It presents compelling evidence for the desire of young fathers to be engaged as parents, despite the sometimes multiple challenges that they face. The article begins with a demographic profile of young fathers and documents what is known of young fathers’ relationships with their children, the child's mother and wider kin. It goes on to consider a range of practical issues facing young fathers. The article concludes with a consideration of young fathers’ support needs and experiences of professional support, drawing out the implications for policy and professional practice.

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