Disrupted relationships: Adult daughters and father absence

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Journal Article
Contemporary Nurse, 2006, 23 (2), pp. 252 - 261
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© eContent Management Pty Ltd. Changes in family structures have resulted in many children growing up in nontraditional families, where their father is not resident in the family home. Father absence that occurs as a result of the breakdown of the parental relationship is associated with life adversity and less than optimal outcomes for children and adolescents. However, little research exists that explores this phenomenon from the perspective of the father absent young person. This phenomenological study was conducted in 2005 and aimed to explore women's perceptions about relationships with their fathers within the context of a father absent childhood. Nine women participated in this study. Findings revealed that growing up without their father present in the family home disrupted the relationship these daughters held with their fathers. Due to the perceived lack of interest these daughters felt from their fathers, they expressed feelings of hurt and diminished respect for their fathers. Furthermore, participants felt that their fathers were unable to provide them with the father-daughter relationship that they sought. The findings of this paper provide insights that can help nurses and other healthcare professionals to recognise the emotional impact that father absence can have on young women. Findings suggest a need for further research to gain greater insights into the experiences of family members who undergo disruption of relationships due to family breakdown.
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