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(p. 282) Bringing the Previously Absent Father into the Family 

(p. 282) Bringing the Previously Absent Father into the Family
(p. 282) Bringing the Previously Absent Father into the Family

Kyle D. Pruett

, Marsha Kline-Pruett

, and Robin Deutsch

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date: 26 October 2020

Many fathers—married, never married, or divorced—are absent or remote from their child’s life during the early years. As circumstances change, he may become eager to get to know the child, especially as milestones come and go, or wish to parent after returning from an absence. Mothers are frequently less sanguine about such returns to the child’s life for myriad reasons. This chapter discusses the deleterious effects of father absence on child development, interventions currently in use to reintegrate the positively engaged father back into the family, examining and softening maternal gatekeeping, and the theoretical and evidence bases for such interventions. A case example will be used to demonstrate how the intervention work can be approached to maximize the child’s opportunity to have a positive relationship with his or her father while maintaining equilibrium in the mother–child dyad.

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