Date of Graduation

Spring 2022


Master of Science in Early Childhood and Family Development


Early Childhood and Family Development

Committee Chair

Elizabeth King


Reinforced by years of gender stereotypes is modern societies’ definition of masculinity, which has long been characterized by breadwinning and providing. Current literature has observed the growing trend which finds an increasing number of men engaged in the role of caregiver and the dynamic change in the home-work balance. Only a few studies looked at what life is like for a stay-at-home father and even fewer have allowed these fathers a unique voice for sharing their story. The purpose of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of what day to day life was really like as a stay-at-home father. In a sense we aimed to adjust the current gender role stereotypes, through this intimate portrayal of one courageous father who chose a nurturing caregiving role instead of following societies’ definition of what a strong masculine provider looked like. This research study provided an authentic window into the realities faced by one stay-at-home father in today’s society. This study describes certain themes which emerged throughout, including the participant’s perception of his role as caregiver where he found greater fulfillment than his career, the fulfillment he found with his connection to his daughters, and finally he found the essence of meaning for his life, his self-esteem and his identity through being a stay-at-home dad. This research concluded for one stay-at-home father, a greater meaning for his life, a stronger bond with his daughters and an overall sense that he was paving the way for other men regarding a softer, nurturing side of masculinity.


gender, masculinity, caregiving, stay-at-home fathers, fatherhood, gender roles, stereotypes, breadwinners, societal norms

Subject Categories

Community-Based Learning | Development Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Personality and Social Contexts | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Politics and Social Change | Public Policy | Social Influence and Political Communication | Social Justice | Social Policy | Social Psychology | Social Work | Sociology of Culture


© Christi Ann Hosking

Open Access