Meaning Making for Immigrant Latino Fathers in Dynamic Family Contexts
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Existing research on fathers has historically focused on fatherhood involvement with children as a cornerstone of paternity. These studies have primarily used White-male fathers as the exemplary demographic (Campos, 2008). However, less has been said about immigrant Latino father's parenting and even less about their process of fatherhood meaning making. The present study used a qualitative approach to better understand immigrant Latino men's accounts of their fathering in dynamic contexts. The data used consisted of transcribed life history interviews conducted with 19 immigrant Latino fathers who were recruited from a HEAD START program and lived in neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois. In using this method, insights of their experiences and perspectives on fathering were discerned into three chapters. The findings suggest that the fatherhood meaning making for this sample was fluid and influenced by relationships and context. The analysis provides four major contributions to Latino fatherhood literature: immigrant Latino fathers exemplify a different kind of machismo that is multidimensional; protection was important to fathers and embedded in context; fathers were active agents that conveyed familismo through practicing and teaching family values; and the cultural value of familismo looks into the future and enriches efforts to create a family legacy.