UCL Grand Challenges


Gender Inclusive Research on the Influence of Family Environment on Child Health

What about Dads? A Scoping Review of Administrative Data Linkage to Understand Paternal Influences on Child Health.

A young father walks with his young children along a city street.

1 October 2019


Grant: Grand Challenges Small Grants
Year awarded: 2019-20
Amount awarded: £7,500


  • Jenny Woodman, Department of Social Science, Social and Historical Sciences
  • Katie Harron, Institute of Child Health, Population Health Sciences

There is a pressing need to include fathers in family services in order to support their own, their partners and their children’s health and wellbeing. Despite recent policy initiatives such as perinatal mental health services for fathers and partners as well as mothers (NHS Long Term Plan 2019), services to promote child and family health and
wellbeing focus almost exclusively on mothers and their children.
So, what about the dads? This study synthesised research about modern fatherhood with administrative data
linkage studies that evaluate the inter-relatedness of paternal, family and child health and wellbeing. By providing an understanding of current research and activity, the team identified priority steps to fully exploiting the potential of administrative data research for improving whole-family health and wellbeing. This is foundational work towards an
ultimate goal of re-orientating of NHS and Local Authority services to take account of and include fathers and father-figures.

Image: iStock/franz12