Download the full-sized PDF of Engaging, Understanding, and Supporting Teen FathersDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Engaging, Understanding, and Supporting Teen Fathers Open Access


Other title
Teen Fatherhood
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Sopcak, Nicolette
Supervisor and department
Skrypnek, Berna (Human Ecology)
Examining committee member and department
Dashora, Pushpanjali (Human Ecology)
Kushner, Kaysi Eastlick (Faculty of Nursing)
Mayan, Maria (Faculty of Extension)
Devault, Annie (Département de Travail Social)
Department of Human Ecology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to the sparse body of knowledge on teen fatherhood and to bridge the gap between research on teen fatherhood and the implementation of formal support for young fathers. Three papers identify and discuss three different aspects of teen fatherhood that are important to consider when addressing the disparity between existing research and inadequate formal support. The first paper, “Engaging Young Fathers in Research through Photo-Interviewing” contributes to research in the field by presenting photo-interviewing as alternative to conventional face-to-face interviews with young fathers. The paper reports on possible advantages of using photo-interviewing with a group of young fathers: Photo-interviewing may be less threatening to participants, adds a new (visual) dimension to the data, and can be empowering to participants. However, further research and the development of innovative approaches are needed to more successfully engage young fathers in research. The second paper, “Teen Fatherhood against the Odds: Finding Meaning and Purpose through Fatherhood,” reports young fathers’ perspectives on their experiences of being a father. The findings of this paper suggest that the transition to fatherhood is a window of opportunity for fathers to turn their lives around, despite past and present adversities. Moreover, the purpose and meaning of fathering a child was found to be central to the young fathers’ identities in this study. This paper contributes to the small, emerging body of knowledge that conceptualizes fatherhood as potentially beneficial to young fathers. The third paper, “Features of Successful Programming for Young Fathers,” identifies three factors essential for agencies to successfully support young fathers, a vulnerable group that is often overlooked by support agencies. Valuing and welcoming fathers, adopting a male perspective, and providing a safe haven and a secure base were the pivotal elements to connecting with and providing meaningful support to young fathers. These identified factors may assist agencies to implement and improve services for young fathers. This dissertation identifies problematic areas in research and practice on teen fatherhood and offers some direction in how to engage with, learn more about, and successfully support young fathers.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 2321858
Last modified: 2015:10:12 15:37:11-06:00
Filename: Sopcak_Nicolette Fall 2013.pdf
Original checksum: b115609b75f1966e30d5759b1c0eb78a
Well formed: true
Valid: true
Status message: File header gives version as 1.4, but catalog dictionary gives version as 1.3
File title: Microsoft Word - Nicolette Sopcak dissertation final 12june13.docx
File author: Nicolette Sopcak
Page count: 157
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date