National Institutes of Health
Activities in Support of the Fatherhood Initiative
FY 2000

In an effort to improve the Federal Government's support of fatherhood and to help strengthen families, the National Institutes of Health has undertaken the following activities within FY 2000.

Grants, Inter-Agency Agreements, and Programmatic Activities:

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has identified male parenting, male fertility related behavior and non-marital childbearing as priority areas for the Institute in recent years and is currently supporting a variety of research projects on these topics.

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Fathers who abuse drugs not only affect their own behaviors and perceptions but also those of his family. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) supports research investigating drug abuse and its effects on fatherhood.

National Institute of Mental Health

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) supports research to better understand and assess mental health in families. A cluster of new grants have expanded the NIMH portfolio related to fatherhood. These studies examine how family relationships are affected by the mental health of fathers, mothers and in turn their children.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) funds numerous studies on the role of family in the development and prevention of alcohol disorders among children and adolescents. Highlights of recent NIAAA studies specific to fatherhood appear below.

NICHD Conferences:

Last year the NICHD co-sponsored a conference entitled "Parenting and the Child's World: Multiple Influences on Intellectual and Social-Emotional Development." This conference assessed the state of funding and research into parenting, and thus, gave rise to recommendations for future research directions. Also as a result of this conference, the NICHD is producing a book on Parenting and the Child's World that is currently under final revision. In addition, a pamphlet is being prepared on Parenting for parents, which focuses on how parents matter.

In October 1999, researchers met at the "Workshop on Youth Violence Interventions" to assess the state of the research and research needs in the area of youth violence interventions. The ultimate goal will be to develop research priorities for the area of youth violence intervention and prevention efforts, which includes among other issues family dynamics.

Recently in March 2000, researchers at the "Conflict and Cooperation in Families" conference discussed the problem of understanding how families cooperate and manage conflict regarding the allocation of household resources, parenting and a variety of other roles in family matters.

Researchers at the "Developing a Daddy Survey (DADS) Meeting," held in March 2000, worked to coordinate measures that examine father involvement across three national studies: Early Head Start, Fragile Families, and the Early childhood Longitudinal Survey - Birth Cohort. The focus of the meeting was father involvement with young children (aged 3-5 years). In addition, researchers began developing methodologies work to clarify the validity and reliability of these measures.

The NICHD will hold the "2000 Add Health Users Workshop" from August 1-2, 2000. The purpose is to provide learning and networking opportunities for investigators (especially new investigators) who are using the Add Health data or are interested in using it. The Add Health data include measures of an adolescent's relationship with their fathers and measures of transitions to parenthood during the late teens and early twenties.

Presentations:

Lamb, M. E. Post-divorce parent-child relationships and recommendations for policy. Presentation to the Ohio Task Force on Family Law and Children, Columbus, January 2000.

Lamb, M. E. Post-divorce parent-child relationships. Keynote address to the 24th Annual Colorado Conference on Children and Divorce, Denver, April 2000.

Lamb, M. E. Why are fathers important? Keynote address to the Delaware Governor's Conference on Fatherhood, Dover, Delaware, June 2000.

Publications:

Cabrera, N. J., Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., Bradley, R. H., Hofferth, S., & Lamb, M. E. Fatherhood in the twenty-first century. Child Development, 2000, 71: 127-136.

Hewlett, B. S., Lamb, M. E., Leyendecker, B., & Scholmerich, A. Parental investment strategies among Aka foragers, Ngandu farmers, and Euro-American urban-industrialists. In L. Cronk, N. Chagnon, & W. Irons (Eds.), Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior Twenty Years Later. New York: Aldine, in press.

Kelly, J. B., & Lamb, M. E. Using child development research to make appropriate custody and access decisions for young children. Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 2000, 38: 297-311.

Lamb, M. E., Hwang, C. P., Ketterlinus, R. D., & Fracasso, M. P. Parent-child relationships: Development in the context of the family. In M. H. Bornstein & M. E. Lamb (Eds.), Developmental Psychology: An Advanced Textbook (Fourth Edition). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 1999: 411-450.

Lamb, M. E. Exploring and defining early social ecologies and their impact: Mothers, fathers, families and cultures. Marriage and Family Review, in press.

Lamb, M. E. (Ed.) Parenting and Child Development in "Nontraditional" Families. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999.

Lamb, M. E. Parental behavior, family processes, and child development in nontraditional and traditionally understudied families. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and Child Development in "Nontraditional" Families. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999: 1-14.

Leyendecker, B., & Lamb, M. E. Latino families. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and Child Development in "Nontraditional" Families. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999: 47-262.

Marsiglio, W., Amato, P., Day, R. D., & Lamb, M. E. Scholarship on fatherhood in the 1990s and beyond: Past impressions, future prospects. Journal of Marriage and the Family, in press.

Sternberg, K. J., & Lamb, M. E. Violent families. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), Parenting and Child Development in "Nontraditional" Families. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999: 305-325.