Public health nurse observations of behavioral characteristics of fathers who contribute to the emotional instability of mothers, as presented in cases of infant abuse


The objective of this study is to look at the understanding and perceptions of public health nurses (PHNs) related to behavioral characteristics of fathers that contribute to emotional instability in mothers by reviewing abuse cases involving infants and very young children. A qualitative descriptive design was applied to the data analysis, based on a semi-structured interview administered to three experienced PHNs who had been in charge of maternal and child health services for at least five years at a public health department or health center; with the data obtained in the interview narratives analyzed. In the observations of the experienced PHNs, the behavioral characteristics of fathers who are instigators of child abuse can be classified into five categories, fathers who are: “Talking to others about marital problems without attempting to solve these by themselves”, “Working on learning about childcare seeking to correct childcare methods”, “Taking the initiative in childcare at cross purposes with mothers”, “Stressing the effort they (the fathers) put into childcare”, and “Failing to notice the own family situation and problems”. The findings of the study suggest the necessity for PHNs to understand fathers, to be aware of the difficulty of building a supportive relationship with fathers, and to improve skills enabling the PHNs to help fathers form good relationships with other family members.

Share and Cite:

Ueda, I. (2013) Public health nurse observations of behavioral characteristics of fathers who contribute to the emotional instability of mothers, as presented in cases of infant abuse. Open Journal of Nursing, 3, 301-306. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2013.33041.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Committee on Council of Social Security of Children SeCtion Concering Child Abuse (2009) The 7’s Analysis Reports by Death Cases of Child Abuse and Neglect.
[2] Cindy, M., Pamela, C., Kimberly B., et al. (2005) Predicators of child abuse potential among military parents: comparing mothers and fathers. Journal of Family Violence, 20, 123-129. doi:10.1080/028418501127346846
[3] Coohey, C. (2006) Physically abusive fathers and risk assessment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 30, 467-480. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2004.10.016
[4] Department of Health and Welfare, Metropolis of Tokyo (2007) The 2nd Report on the Actual Situation of Child Abuse.
[5] Takeshi, T. (2007) Psychoeducational approaches for families: Concept and methods: Approaches for fathers group. Kanekosyobou Press, Tokyo.
[6] Chilldren Abuse (2009) The Care Manual of Faters/Mothers/Children-by Tokyo. Koubundo Press, Tokyo.
[7] Izumi, U. and Kazuko, S. (2009) 6-1 public health nurse’s care for mather and child health, new child care for neighborhood action. Chuuouhoukisyuppan Press, Tokyo.
[8] Yuri, M. (2008) Sexual Abuse to Children, Iwanamisyoten Press, Tokyo.
[9] Moore, D.R. and Florsheim, P. (2008) Interpartner conflict and child abuse risk among African American and Latino adolescent parenting couples. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32, 463-475. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.05.006
[10] Ayaka, M., Yukie, K., Keiko, S., et al. (2005) Parents’ feeling regarding infants and child-rearing and the influence on mild child abuse tendencies. Japanese Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect, 7, 222-229.
[11] Perez-Albeniz, A. and de Paul, J. (2004) Gender differences in empathy in parents at high- and low-risk of child physical abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 28, 289-300. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2003.11.017

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.