Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre

FaHCSIA: New Father Figures And Fathers Who Live Elsewhere


This report investigates outcomes for children who experience a 'new father figure' moving into their home, as well as the effects of having a biological father who does not live with them.

"The majority of differences in child outcomes are not associated with having a new father figure per se..." 

This report seeks to present information about children's wellbeing in the setting of having a new male present after separation of the biological parents, and the effects of having their biological father living in another household.

Do new male father-figures contribute to emotional issues?

It was found that the presence of a new male in the child's household was not itself a major factor in wellbeing, but the presence of emtional issues and stresses often occurs because of the factors that led to separation in the first place. In other words, it was factors such as financial stress, mental illness or other factors that contributed to parental separation and emotional issues in children more so than whether a new male was present or the biological father was non-resident.

What is known of fathers living away from the home?

It was found that the group of fathers referred to as 'non-resident' fathers are diverse and their interactions with their children span a wide range from being heavily involved to being wholly absent. Most mothers would have preferred the father to have more contact with the children but numerous factors such as work demands and distance contributed to the lower level of contact.

Implications For Services

This kind of report can help to inform services about the experiences of children and families, and the interactions by fathers in different circumstances. Services need to consider the impact and context of parental status and family relationships on a child's welbeing, and to what extent the presence of new father-figures or the status of the child's father living separately impacts on the child's wellbeing.

Resources Available

Related Links

Contact Information

FaHCSIA Contact

Tuggeranong Office Park 
Soward Way (cnr Athllon Drive) Greenway, Australian Capital Territory 2900
Telephone: 1300 653 227


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