Look Who Is Talking Now: Eliciting the Concept of Fatherhood Among Filipino Fathers Using Metaphor Analysis

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Abstract

Background:

Although the increased interest in investigating the dynamics of fatherhood in developed nations has been documented in the literature, its collective meaning and implications in nursing remain largely unknown in the context of East Asia, especially in developing countries such as the Philippines.

Purpose:

Capitalizing on the unique power of metaphors to improve the understanding of complex and abstract ideas and to shape healthcare practices, this qualitative semiotic investigation intended to define the essence of fatherhood from the perspective of Filipino fathers.

Methods:

This study focused on a group of 28 first-time and 22 second-time fathers who were recruited from the largest maternal and newborn tertiary government hospital in the Philippines. To capture the richness and thickness of fatherhood as a subjective human reality, doodling and elicitation interviews were employed to promote data triangulation. Furthermore, semiosis was used as the data analytic framework to better understand the ontology and epistemology of the elicited metaphors. In addition, a member-checking procedure was employed to validate the themes that emerged from the inductive approach.

Results:

This study provides a conceptualization of “The House of Fatherhood,” which illustrates the uniqueness of the experience of fatherhood as identity defining, maturity enabling, and duality affirming.

Conclusions/Implications for Practice:

The pillars of fatherhood that were identified in this article provide a valuable framework for Filipino healthcare providers and program administrators in the field of maternal and child nursing to identify scaffolding measures and other support mechanisms to address the needs and concerns of Filipino fathers and their journey to fatherhood in a more effective and holistic way.

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