Paternal involvement in the interactive behavioral assessment process
The problem addressed in this investigation was to determine if the father's involvement in the interactive behavioral assessment of his infant would effect the father's attitude toward or participation in parenting behaviors. It was hypothesized that fathers who were demonstrated the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (BNBAS) on their own infant would have significantly more positive attitudes toward paternal involvement in parenting than fathers who did not have this demonstration. It was also hypothesized that the experimental group would report significantly more participation in parenting activities. Using the Solomon Four-Group research design, 44 subjects were randomly assigned to one of the four groups. The demonstration of the BNBAS during the postpartum hospitalization period was the independent variable. The dependent variables, paternal attitudes toward parenting behaviors and paternal participation in parenting, were operationalized respectively by the Paternal Attitude Scale and the Self-Report Form in which fathers reported the number of times per week they participated in specific parenting activities. One experimental group and one control group were administered the Paternal Attitude Scale during the postpartum hospitalization period as a pretest measure and the remaining two groups were not. All four groups received the same posttest measures when the infant was four weeks old.
The results of this study indicate that the use of the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale as a demonstration intervention can be an effective means of parenting education for fathers. The experimental fathers differed significantly from the control fathers four weeks after the intervention had occurred. The experimental group mean score on the Paternal Attitude posttest was higher, indicating a more positive attitude toward paternal involvement in parenting behaviors. All fathers in the study participated in some of the infant care activities, but as the complexity of the activity increased, fewer fathers were involved. Although the mean of the combined experimental groups was higher than the combined control groups' mean, the difference was not significant at the 0.05 level. Further investigation is necessary in order to determine if the behavioral effects of the treatment would become apparent if there were a longer interval between treatment and post-treatment measurement.