The Times

August 9 1999

New men bring baby trouble

BY ALEXANDRA FREAN, SOCIAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT
The Sunday Times

THE growing involvement of fathers in the care and upbringing of their children could lead to fierce competition between parents as to who is the best child-carer, a psychologist has warned.

Maureen Marks, who specialises in caring for women during pregnancy and childbirth, said that the increasing economic independence of women and the resulting changes in the role of fathers were bringing new tensions into relationships.

Dr Marks was commenting on a new study which shows that only a small minority of women now perceive their partners to be mainly responsible for providing for their child. Thirty-five per cent of the 3,000 first time mothers-to-be questioned for the study said they took on more of the financial worries associated with having a baby than their partners, while 55 per cent said that responsibility was equally shared. One way that men were making up for this loss of status as the main breadwinner was by becoming closer to their children than their own fathers were.

Copyright 1999, Times Newspapers Ltd.