Men's Knowledge of Anticipatory Guidance Topics: Results From a Nationally Representative Survey

Shawna J. Lee*, Tova B. Walsh, Joyce Y. Lee, Richard Tolman, Craig Garfield, Rita C. Seabrook, Vijay Singh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)830-837
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Bright Futures Guidelines
  • fathers
  • infant health
  • parent education
  • pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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