How a person fulfills his function as a parent has consequences both for the parent and for the child's development. With that said, we know relatively little about how fathers' involvement in the child's life develops over the course of life and how the involvement relates to fathers’ own psychological development and well-being. In addition, we have relatively little knowledge about how older fathers with adult children view their parenting and what challenges fathering entails in relation to adult children.
The FIECA-study, led by Associate Professor Maria Wängqvist, aims to address some of these gaps. FIECA is an independent part-study to the project Gothenburg Longitudinal Study of Development (GoLD), which began as early as 1981. The GoLD-project started with 144 1-2 year old’s and their parents. All children were firstborns and the families represented all social strata in the Gothenburg region at the start of the study. The parents took part in the study up until the children were mid-adolescents, after that the children have taken part in the project on their own. Most of the 144 children who originally took part in GoLD are still part of the project and are today around 40 years old.
In the FIECA project, we resumed contact with the fathers of the children from GoLD. We were able to revisit 98 of the fathers from the original study. To address the research questions from several perspectives we have used both quantitative and qualitative methods. The fathers have answered questions about how their role in their children’s lives have changed throughout the years and about their own current development and well-being. Material that the fathers have previous provided during the first 15 years of their child’s life is also used in the study.