Integrative Review of Factors and Interventions That Influence Early Father–Infant Bonding

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Abstract

Objective:

To report on the current state of research analyzing early father–infant bonding, including influential factors and interventions, to identify gaps in the literature.

Data Sources:

CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed, and PsychInfo computerized databases were searched using the keywords bonding, paternal, father, infant, relationship, engrossment, and postpartum.

Study Selection:

Twenty-eight articles were compiled on the basis of key inclusion criteria. Quality measures were undertaken using specific components of SQUIRE 2.0 to ensure quality of methodology and data.

Data Extraction and Synthesis:

Each study was carefully dissected and initially arranged in a generic annotated bibliography. This process resulted in pattern recognition and identification of three major themes. The findings of every article were compared for commonalities and differences and were synthesized into an integrated review of father–infant bonding.

Results:

The synthesis revealed three themes: Father's Adjustment and Transition, Variables That Influence Father–Infant Bonding, and Interventions That Promote Father–Infant Bonding.

Conclusion:

There is an immediate need to perform studies on specific interventions aimed at the promotion of early father–infant bonding in the United States. More research is needed to better understand the timing of early father–infant bonding and how this bonding influences a provider's role, attitude, and priority for establishing successful bonding interventions for fathers.

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