Online Fathering: the Experience of First Time Fatherhood in Combat Deployed Troops

Online Fathering: The Experience of First-Time Fatherhood in Combat-Deployed Troops

Grand Canyon University
Introduction to Nursing Research
March 20, 2011

Online Fathering: The Experience of First-Time Fatherhood in
Combat-Deployed Troops

    Most fathers participate, or at least attend, the births of their children. In this society, it is typically expected that fathers will go to childbirth classes, doctor appointments, and be in the delivery room to comfort and support their wife/partner.
    During the last 20 years our country has been deeply involved in the wars of other countries. Thousands of men who are expecting their first child are deployed to combat zones every year. These men offer a unique perspective into the transition to fatherhood.
    Nurses working with military families need to understand this difficult situation in order to facilitate improved communication between both parents. Nurses who are also deployed can be quite helpful in supporting and preparing men for their new role as fathers.
Study Design
    The method used for this qualitative study is descriptive phenomenological. This seemed to be the best method because the focus is on the actual experiences of the participants from their own perspectives.
    The sample consisted of 17 men who had returned from deployment to combat zones in the Middle East within the previous month. All participants were married and reported the birth of their first child while they were gone. Deployment time ranged from 6 to 10 months. At the time they returned home, the babies were 2 to 6 months old. The mean age of the participants was 23 years. 10 were Caucasian, 4 African-American, 2 Hispanic, and 1 “other”.
    Open ended interviews were done at the home of each participant. They were asked “What is it like to become a father while deployed overseas to a combat region?”. They were only asked additional questions for clarification of the information...