Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

First Adviser

Liang, Christopher T.


Men’s role in raising their children is changing due to different life circumstances, including an increase in women in the workforce and the positive acceptance of men being involved caregivers in addition as breadwinners. Though inequities in gender roles remain, these new expectations for men in childrearing responsibilities brings to the surface different questions as to what motivates men to engage in parenting behaviors. One theoretical approach to understand men’s intentions to engage in parenting behaviors is Ajzen’s (1991) theory of planned behavior. Grounded in the Theory of Planned Behavior, the purpose of the study was to examine the associations between fathers’ intentions to engage in parenting behaviors and their behavioral beliefs toward parenting, the social norms, and their perceived behavioral control. Fathers (N = 256) were recruited online to participate in the study. Structural equation modeling was used to determine whether the Theory of Planned Behavior was an appropriate model to understand fathers’ intentions to engage in parenting behaviors and the associations between the concepts within the theory. Results indicated that the theory of planned behavior to understand men’s motivation to intend to engage in paternal involvement behaviors is not adequate and may need additional modification. In addition, a separate theory is recommended as an alternative to the theory of planned behavior. Future researchers are encouraged to consider the discussions to shape future research in paternal involvement.