Recent work on the transition to fatherhood indicates that this transition can be a difficult experience for some fathers. A number of studies show that men can suffer from psychological distress in the first two years of the child's life, such as depression (Condon, 2006), anxiety (de Montigny, 2002) and stress (Lacharité, & al., 2005). Some of the contexts that fathers experience, such as breastfeeding, poverty, immigration, the death of a child, can increase their vulnerability to psychological distress. Despite the fact that there are few studies on this theme, fathers' psychological distress in the postnatal period is recognized as having negative impacts on conjugal satisfaction (Bielawska-Batorowicz & Kossakowska-Petrycka, 2006) and on family health, in particular on the emotional and behavioural development of children aged three to five (Ramchandani, et al, 2005). These observations justify the relevance of integrating more fathers into research conducted during the postnatal period and of giving special attention to the aspects where they are vulnerable, so as to support the well-being of all family members.
Young people who experience pregnancy in adolescence, the challenges facing young fathers, and the special constraints created by a low level of education or a job with little security are at the heart of the concerns of the Canada Research Chair in Family Psychosocial Health and the Centre for Studies and Research on Family Health Intervention (CERIF). Among other things, the collaborating researchers examine how young fathers develop their parenting skills in extremely difficult contexts. Prevention of child negligence is a major concern in the eyes of the Chair and the CERIF.
The daily challenges of parenting and work can be exacerbated by health problems. Thus, it has been found that a large number of adults under the age of 45 live with chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and neurological problems. These mothers and fathers have to deal with their health conditions while maintaining their ability to meet the requirements of their jobs; conjugal relationships and roles as parents. In the framework of the projects undertaken by the Chair and the CERIF, proposals have been made to gain a better understanding of and to better support families that juggle daily life with the management of a chronic health problem suffered by a parent or child.