Fathers in Europe: Policies, constructions and practices. Introduction to the Special Collection





fatherhood, gender, family policies, paternal care practices


Objective: To introduce the readers to the Journal of Family Research’s Special Collection about fatherhood-related political frameworks, social constructions of fatherhood and masculinity, and practices of fathers in Europe.

Background: Fatherhood research has proliferated in recent decades and reflects that paternal involvement is closely linked to national policies, to prevailing social normative understandings of fatherhood, and also varies in practice.

Method: Except for the review article, the contributions of this Special Collection draw on empirical data, including quantitative analyses of large-scale data, such as the European Social Survey, the QUIDAN-Survey, and the DJI “Growing up in Germany” survey, and qualitative analyses of in-depth interviews.

Results: The six contributions vary in focus and illustrate a wide range of approaches to the understanding of fatherhood constructions and practices as well as the political frameworks that shape contemporary fatherhood in Europe. The contributions study fatherhood in the context of the transition to parenthood, parenting practices, the composition of working environments as well as in social work practice.

Conclusion: The discussion of fatherhood constructions and practices as well as related political frameworks is crucial to understanding which social conditions facilitate and hinder father involvement in Europe.


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How to Cite

Adler, M., Lenz, K., Peltz, K., Schlinzig, T., Thiessen, B., & Zerle-Elsässer, C. (2023). Fathers in Europe: Policies, constructions and practices. Introduction to the Special Collection. Journal of Family Research, 35, 393–399. https://doi.org/10.20377/jfr-950