Speaker: Mary Kay Keller
Facilitator: Leila Kent
New fathers step into the role of fathering with little support from family systems (McBride, 1989; McBride & Lutz, 2004), and transitioning into this role is often stressful (Sanders, Dittman, Keown, Farrauggia & Rose, 2010; Willinger, Diendorfer-Radner, Willnauer, Jorgl, & Hager, 2005). Furthermore, the marital relationship is negatively impacted as parents adjust to their new roles (Johns & Belsky, 2008), and this change may also impact attachment to their infant (Green, Furrer & McAllister, 2007). Infant massage training provides the opportunity, skills, and the feeling of parental competence in interacting with their infants. Cheng, Volk, and Marini (2011) found that fathers greatly benefited from infant massage group classes with other fathers. Infant massage taught either in group or in-home could greatly benefit the family relationships. These outcomes have implications for fathers, professionals, and research. How can professionals be inclusive of fathers?