Father-Baby Bonding for Infant Health and Family Nonviolence
Marilyn Nations from the University of Fortaleza in Brazil will evaluate a program established in 1990 at a public hospital in Fortaleza that was designed to increase bonding between fathers and their newborns and thereby improve overall health, as well as reducing crime rates. Fortaleza has a high crime rate mostly linked to low socioeconomic class males. Given fathers had been traditionally excluded from pregnancy and birth-related events, the hypothesis was that encouraging father-baby bonding could establish a 'life-valuing' ethos that would have a knock-on effect on a variety of health and social factors. They will now formally assess this program using questionnaires and in-depth interviews to measure its effect on factors such as violent behavior and employment status after five years. Evidence that the approach is successful will be used to promote its application in other hospitals in Brazil and beyond.