Objective: 1) To describe young men's knowledge of infant routines, discipline, development, safety, sleep, and nutrition, using items assessing the American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents. 2) To report differences in knowledge between fathers and non-fathers. 3) To examine factors associated with men's greater knowledge. Methods: Participants were men (N = 1303) aged 18 to 35 years responding to a cross-sectional survey that was administered to a national panel established through probability sampling of the civilian, non-institutionalized US population. Survey weights allow reporting of nationally representative analyses. Results: Participants (mean age = 27; 58% white, 36% fathers) correctly answered 52% of the infant knowledge questions. Fathers and non-fathers answered 64% and 46% of the items correctly, respectively. The difference in knowledge between fathers and non-fathers was statistically significant (B = 0.16, P<.001). The subscale with the highest number of correct responses was routines (80% accuracy), followed by discipline (59% accuracy), safety (52% accuracy), sleep (51% accuracy), development (50% accuracy), and nutrition (40% accuracy). Multivariate analyses showed that depressive symptoms (B = −0.07, P <.05) were associated with lower infant knowledge, while higher education (B = 0.06, P <.05) and current employment (B = 0.06, P <.01) were associated with higher infant knowledge. Conclusions: Significant gaps exist in men's knowledge of infant development. Pediatric health care providers can address gaps in parenting knowledge by providing anticipatory guidance to fathers.
- Bright Futures Guidelines
- infant health
- parent education
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health