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Father Figure

A father figure is usually an older man, normally one with power, authority, or strength, with whom one can identify on a deeply psychological level and who generates emotions generally felt towards one's father. Despite the literal term "father figure", the role of a father figure is not limited to the biological parent of a person (especially a child), but may be played by uncles, grandfathers, elder brothers, family friends, or others.[1] The similar term mother figure refers to an older woman.

Father Figure

The International Dictionary of Psychology defines "father figure" as "A man to whom a person looks up and whom he treats like a father."[4] The APA Concise Dictionary of Psychology offers a more extensive definition: "a substitute for a person's biological father, who performs typical paternal functions and serves as an object of identification and attachment. [Father figures] may include such individuals as adoptive fathers, stepfathers, older brothers, teachers and others." This dictionary goes on to state that the term is synonymous with father surrogate and surrogate father.[5] The former definition suggests that the term applies to any man, while the latter excludes biological fathers.

As a primary caregiver, a father or father-figure fills a key role in a child's life. Attachment theory offers some insight into how children relate to their fathers, and when they seek out a separate "father figure". According to a 2010 study by Posada and Kaloustian, the way that an infant models their attachment to their caregiver has a direct impact on how the infant responds to other people.[6] These attachment-driven responses may persist throughout life.

Other functions a father figure can provide include: helping establish personal boundaries between mother and child;[8] promoting self-discipline, teamwork and a sense of gender identity;[9] offering a window into the wider world;[10] and providing opportunities for both idealization and its realistic working-through.[11]

Studies have shown that a lack of a father figure in a child's life can have severe negative psychological impacts upon a child's personality and psychology,[12] whereas positive father figures have a significant role in a child's development.

Lost between these two extremes: the everyday black father who may not fit conventional notions of fatherhood but is nonetheless taking his parenting role seriously. He may not live at home with his partner or kids, he may not be legally married and he may struggle to provide on a consistent basis, but this does not automatically mean that he is irresponsible. However, these visuals of quotidian presence remain underrepresented in most mainstream media coverage.

My own journey of identity formation and cultural belonging formed the motivation for this visual exploration of fatherhood: I used my lived experience of being nurtured by African American families and father figures since my early childhood while dealing with my personal history of paternal abandonment. This helped me to build a specific visual vocabulary that guided me through this work.

As I observed these fathers interact with their families, key themes revealed themselves loud and clear: Few of the men I met were in traditional relationships but they were loving, present and responsible fathers nonetheless. At a time when the profiling of black men and women by law enforcement and citizen vigilante has given rise to a social justice moment and a national conversation about race, the fathers I worked with were also acutely aware of how society tends to perceive their black bodies as threatening and dangerous. Many collaborators felt an imposed burden to answer to preconceived notions of black father absence while their actual daily parenting efforts go largely unnoticed.

1. Church of the Good Hustler - In Robert Rossen's 1961 masterpiece The Hustler, "Fast Eddie" Felsen (played by Paul Newman) strolls into legendary pool shark Minnesota Fat's New York City pool hall hungrily calling it the Church of the Good Hustler. Charlie, his manager and father figure is not so optimistic saying "It looks more like a morgue to me. Those tables are the slabs they lay the stiffs on." One of my favorite movies, it deals with youth, arrogance, loss and understanding in a poignant way along with an innovative jazz-influenced soundtrack.

9. Wingspan - Mulgrew Miller was a father figure to many, and a mentor of immeasurable importance to the jazz scene for over 30 years. This song is the title track for the album that also became the name of his working band, showcasing young musicians new to the New York area. Mulgrew was steeped in the jazz tradition while using it to search and find his own directions and sounds.

The researchers are urging healthcare professionals to increase fathers' involvement in their children's healthcare and calling on policy makers to ensure that fathers have the chance to play an active role in their upbringing.

"Our detailed 20-year review shows that overall, children reap positive benefits if they have active and regular engagement with a father figure" says Dr Anna Sarkadi from the Department of Women's and Children's Health at Uppsala University, Sweden.

"For example, we found various studies that showed that children who had positively involved father figures were less likely to smoke and get into trouble with the police, achieved better levels of education and developed good friendships with children of both sexes.

"Long-term benefits included women who had better relationships with partners and a greater sense of mental and physical well-being at the age of 33 if they had a good relationship with their father at 16."

"However, our review backs up the intuitive assumption that engaged biological fathers or father figures are good for children, especially when the children are socially or economically disadvantaged" says Dr Sarkadi.

"Children who lived with both a mother and father figure had less behavioural problems than those who lived with just their mother. However, it is not possible to tell whether this is because the father figure is more involved or whether the mother is able to be a better parent if she has more support at home."

"Involving them in healthcare visits and explicitly seeking their opinions when making decisions could be a good way to promote high levels of engagement" says Dr Sarkadi. "Stressing that fathers have an important role in promoting their child's social and emotional development is another good strategy."

"Unfortunately current institutional policies in most countries do not support the increased involvement of fathers in child rearing. Paid parental leave for fathers and employers sympathetic to fathers staying at home with sick children is still a dream in most countries.

"We hope that this review will add to the body of evidence that shows that enlightened father-friendly policies can make a major contribution to society in the long run, by producing well-adjusted children and reducing major problems like crime and antisocial behaviour."

The Last of Us's Joel and The Mandalorian's Din Djarin find themselves protecting a uniquely important child as he drags them through dangerous circumstances. Through these characters, Pascal seems to be the go-to actor to play a reluctant dad. Yet despite their initial hesitation, Joel and Din alike become great fathers to their young charges. But parenting a willful teenager and a curious baby are innately different, so Pascal's characters cannot parent the same. Throughout these shows, Pascal embodies different stages of fatherhood, from infancy to young adult. But both show Pascal rising to the challenges of parenting.

As Joel travels with Ellie (Bella Ramsay) through the apocalyptic landscape, they slowly developed a father-daughter relationship. Originally, Joel doesn't want the task, but he is forced into it, and as time goes on, he comes to love Ellie. Joel is well-prepared to take care of Ellie, not only because he knows how to fight the infected but because he raised Sarah (Nico Parker) first. Joel tragically lost his daughter twenty years before the main story, but parenthood is a reflex for him. Instantly, he knows how to protect Ellie and put her needs first. He tries to walk out of their way to avoid gory remains, thinking it will upset her. Though Ellie thwarts his efforts, Joel thought ahead, aiming to protect her from further trauma. 041b061a72


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