Men are becoming increasingly aware of and keen about the promises of involved fathering, and there is growing recognition of the need to support fathers, especially in the postnatal period. However, there is limited evidence of how best to offer this support. In this article, we investigate a new avenue of support that is gaining popularity in the public health sector: the Internet. Using qualitative methods, we examine messages in an asynchronous online chat room for new fathers to reveal how fathers themselves requested, offered, and received social support. Features of their communication style included humor and self-disclosure. An emergent, overarching purpose of their communications was to make fathering more “visible,” and to encourage each other to engage confidently and wholeheartedly in fathering.
Qualitative Health Research Vol. 21, Issue 8, p. 1101-1114