Learning Objective 1: The learner will know the difference between Asian and western fathersí perception of their role when confronted with situational crises involving their children.
Learning Objective 2: Asian societies have an urgent need to understand a fatherís perception and emotional reactions toward family health, coping abilities when life-threatening events happen.
Methods: The literature search was conducted by using search engines, including PsycINFO, CINAHL, Taiwan Electronic Thesis and Dissertation System, Google, Google Scholar, Medline (OVID), and PubMed. Twenty-two 22 studies were reviewed and assigned to one of two categories, the father experiencing a situational crisis related to his child’s illness, or cultural influences on the paternal role.
Results: Paternal participation and role are affected by the social and cultural environment, social resources and family members. Fathers who have sick children tend to have negative emotional reactions, such as anxiety, fear, and anger. Nevertheless, Asian fathers are more patriarchal than western fathers. The literature review indicates that Asian and western fathers’ concepts and perceptions of crisis do not differ greatly.
It was concluded that there exists a gap in the literature with respect to knowledge of Asian fathers’ situational crisis surrounding their child’s illness, their coping strategies when faced with their child’s illness, as well as their emotional reactions toward family health. The reviewed studies were limited to English or Mandarin speaking families and Asian/western parents.
Conclusion: Further research should consider cultural factors, gender difference and pay more attention to father’s perceptions and emotional reactions, which may include single or same-gender fathers. Families in a situational crisis would benefit from the healthcare professionals acquiring enhanced knowledge and sensitivity about cultural diversity.