"The good and the bad?": childhood experiences with fathers and their influence on women's expectations and men's experiences of fathering in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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Using qualitative data from Project SIZE: a study that explores child and family well-being in the context of HIV/AIDS and poverty, we interviewed the female caregivers of 20 9- to 10-year-old children and 16 of the father-figures nominated by children. We consider how childhood experiences with fathers are associated with women's expectations and men's experiences of fathering. Data were analysed thematically in pairs of the focal child's caregiver and father-figure. Data from four women who were not paired were analysed individually. Results generally support both the modelling and the compensatory hypotheses to explain intergenerational influences on men's fathering attitudes and behaviour. Our results go a step further to acknowledge that fatherhood is dynamic and, in rural KwaZulu-Natal, it is influenced also by socio-cultural and economic factors, societal expectations, father=mother relationship and individual characteristics of men.