The Role and Impact of Arab Fathers

In: Hawwa
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  • 1 Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

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Abstract

Research over the past twenty years has found that fathers play an important role in their children’s development. However, the literature on fatherhood is still limited, particularly in the Arab world. This paper uses data from a mixed-method pilot study of sixty-one Arabs residing in the United Arab Emirates to examine the nature and impact of father involvement in the Arab region. The findings indicate that Arab fathers score highly on the good provider role, but low on responsible paternal engagement, which includes father involvement in the child’s education and related activities. We also find that the more positively involved a father has been in his child’s life, the higher the child’s self-esteem tends to be. In addition, the results show that experiences of father involvement vary according to the gender of the child, socioeconomic status, and nationality. These findings have important implications for understanding the nature of Arab father involvement and serve as a prelude to a larger study of father involvement across the Arab region.

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