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Research exploring the experience of sole fathers caring for their child(ren) and the impacts to you and your family

Filed under: General — Dominic @ 11:35 am Tue 25th August 2015

Sole Fathers experiences of accessing social services.

You are invited to take part in research that Jason Rushton a thesis student on the Masters of Social Work programme at Massey University is undertaking in regards to exploring the experience of sole fathers caring for their child(ren) and the impacts to you and your family.

The purpose of the study is to learn about the experiences sole fathers face when accessing social services.

I plan to interview up to eight sole fathers.

If you would like to find out more information, please contact Jason Rushton, by Phone or Text on 021 0700 705 or email [email protected]
This project is supervised by Dr Michael Dale, Massey University, Phone (06) 356 9099 ext. 83522, [email protected] and Dr Martin Sullivan, Massey University, Phone (06) 356 9099 ext. 83525, [email protected].

This project has been reviewed and approved by the Massey University Human Ethics Committee: Southern B, Application 15/46.If you have any concerns about the conduct of this research, please contact Prof Julie Boddy, Chair, Massey University Human Ethics Committee: Southern B, telephone 06 350 5799 x 86055, email [email protected]

I took a look at some of his work papers and intentions and believe it could help fathers in the future.


  1. Thanks Dominic

    Potential issues with the research.

    It has a very low number of subjects to study, this creates issues with statistical accuracy. For example if all those studied come from entities that are engaged in supporting fathers, e.g. from a teenage father support group, Father and Child trust clients etc, then having that support may help when they engage social services. Conversely if none of those studied are engaged with those groups then that could create some bias in the other direction.

    I understand that single sex studies for various reasons do occur, but it creates issues when doing comparisons.
    For example if 8 fathers and 8 mothers are subject to a study that examines exactly the same questions then one can examine the differences. When a single sex study is done then what are you referencing against, if the opposite sex study examined the subject slightly differently.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Wed 26th August 2015 @ 2:05 pm

  2. Dear DJ Ward,

    I agree with your critique. However, I guess he is doing explorative research, to bring out issues for later further study? It surprises me that explorative research is being carried out now, as most of these policy issues have been in action for 30 – 40 years?

    If I am right about the research being explorative, then I would have expected a much larger sample size, to be able to pick up the breadth of issues. Such small sample sizes make it easy to unwittingly or deliberately influence outcomes, in the sample selection.

    Some social workers are not very keen researchers and maybe this is showing up in the quality of the research design?

    In my opinion, NZ has a lot of problems with the quality of its social policy and these cause a huge amount of unnecessary damage. We need to measure performance in familycaught$, WINZ, parenting skills, education and respond constructively to these challenges. This is despite the incumbents trying to protect themselves by making it hard for outsiders to measure their performances.

    Students in econometrics usually have much better quantitative research skills and are better placed to get their teeth into measuring the extent and costs of our social policies. Many social workers just want to talk and at the end of the day, there are no measurements, not even definitions of what needs to be measured! (All generalisations are wrong?)

    Anyway, lets try to encourage anyone who is prepared to put some of their time and effort into improving our social policies.


    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 27th August 2015 @ 10:03 am

  3. The lack of much research that sensibly includes fathers strongly suggests that we should form a group and do our own attempt. The cost is mainly time to organise.. Can we afford not to do such research, at least for the sake of our children?

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 27th August 2015 @ 10:13 am

  4. There are AUT students doing this as well, they started with solo dads experience last year and are moving on to their experiences with social services… Father and Child have supported hundreds of dads like this, solo or part time/ shared care…

    See also Depending on Dad – solo fathers of young children

    Comment by realkiwi — Fri 28th August 2015 @ 10:06 am

  5. #4 realkiwi
    Thanks for the info and link.

    This is a well written piece on accuracy of research.

    Obviously we are all aware of how research can be manipulated to present a point of view, or to discredited someone else’s.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Fri 4th September 2015 @ 9:14 am

  6. Thanks for finding and linking this article DJ Ward (#5). I note it focuses almost entirely on only one aspect of research weakness, that of unrepresentative samples. There are many other factors that threaten the validity of research studies and the truthfulness of conclusions, and most feminist propaganda (if it has any research basis at all) is generated using research methodology that is deliberately poor scientifically.

    One common error across all research areas is mistaking correlation for cause, or implying cause through careless wording of conclusions. For example, it might be found that people who participate on MENZ Issues score better on intelligence tests than do non-participants. The NZ Herald might then publish an article headlined “Participating on MENZ Issues can improve your intelligence” (as we know, that newspaper can always be relied upon to report positive things about men…). While that headline may well be true, it cannot be validly concluded from the correlational research finding. It may be that the attractive looks and personality of MENZ Issues participants were the actual cause of both their higher intelligence and their decision to contribute here. Similarly, a finding that state house tenants have more respiratory disease doesn’t mean that living in a state house causes such disease. State house tenants may also be more likely to smoke something quite often and to have grown up with parents who smoked something, and those factors may be a major cause of both their respiratory diseases and their state-house eligibility.

    The only vaguely relevant evidence for the Duluth model (that domestic violence is caused by men’s need and sense of entitlement to have power and control) will come from surveys in which battered women cite various controlling behaviours shown by their abusive partners. However, even if the women’s accounts were true that doesn’t mean ‘maleness’ or ‘greater need by males to exert power and control’ cause or explain violence as is almost universally assumed by feminists, researchers and politicians alike. Instead, it’s likely that the relationships of a good many of the battered women were more often in conflict, that both partners had poor communication and conflict resolution skills, and that a high proportion of those battered women behaved in particular ways that were highly threatening to their partners/husbands, many of which reflected their own self-entitlement to control their relationships and families (e.g. nagging, condescending behaviour, failure to appreciate their partners’ contribution to the family, failure to recognize that the home is also the partner’s home and has to meet some of his needs and preferences too, threats to leave and shut the father out of children’s lives, sexual infidelity, excessive spending, pokie machine addictions, ineffective parenting contributing to serious child behaviour problems) and the men’s emotional threat and frustration about these factors were more significantly causal of their attempts both to control those women and to react violently sometimes. If so, sending those males off to feminist ideology indoctrination programs whilst requiring nothing from the ‘victim’ women is not going to address the true causes or reduce the problem of violence.

    For a more detailed examination of the methodological faults (deliberate) in a lot of domestic violence research, see

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Fri 4th September 2015 @ 11:56 am

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