On June 9, Clark University associate professor of psychology Abbie Goldberg participated in a Working Fathers panel, organized by the White House, on the topic of the father’s role in parenting and the shifting nature of parenthood. The Obama administration hosted the forum to spotlight the need for family-friendly policies in the workplace.
Other experts on the panel, “New Roles for Dads at Home,” included Kathryn Edin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University; Kipp Jarecke-Cheng, working dad at Nurun, Inc.; and Kyle Pruett, clinical psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine.
Goldberg described the event as “a magical day.”
“That I was asked to share my research on gay fathers—that these voices were included in a summit on working fathers—speaks volumes of our progress as a country and the current administration in particular,” said Goldberg.
“It was extremely heartening to be among White House staffers, researchers, business leaders and advocates, who are all working towards better work-family balance, better parental leave policies, including paid leave, paternity leave, and adoption leave.”
Among the other speakers were the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Transportation, both men of color who spoke about their own roles as fathers, and New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy, who sparked a national debate after he missed Opening Day for the birth of his son.
The forum was held in advance of The White House Summit on Working Families, which will take place in Washington, D.C. on July 23.
Professor Goldberg studies how a variety of contexts (e.g., gender, sexual orientation, social class, work-family variables) shape processes of development and mental health. Her research focuses on exploring parenthood, relationship quality, and well-being in diverse families (e.g., adoptive parent families, lesbian/gay parent families). She is currently exploring the transition to adoptive parenthood among a diverse group of couples. She teaches courses on gender and family, ethics, and developmental psychopathology. Her clinical interests include adolescent mental health and substance abuse and dependence. She is particularly interested in understanding these problems in the context of the family.