Ask A Researcher

March 2023

Every Dad Counts: North Dakota Fatherhood Experiences Survey

Hannah Hanson is the Men’s Health Coordinator at the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services. She works to promote awareness of men’s disparities, father engagement and advocate for collaborative men’s health initiatives.
Grace Njau, PhD, MPH is the Director of Special Projects and Health Analytics at the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services. She will also serve as the Principal Investigator of the North Dakota Fatherhood Experiences Survey. Dr. Njau is passionate about early childhood research, and all-things-data, especially rapid and targeted data dissemination to inform policy and program planning.

 

Acknowledgements

The Fatherhood Experiences Survey is a collaborative effort headed by the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the Center for Social Research at North Dakota State University, and the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.

Background

The North Dakota Fatherhood Experiences Survey is a one-year pilot project designed to parallel the North Dakota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring Survey (PRAMS). The survey will collect paternal perspective data on the transition to fatherhood, men’s impacts on maternal and child health outcomes, and identify opportunities to improve men’s health.

The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring Survey (PRAMS) has collected annual state-specific data since 1987, with North Dakota being selected to join the survey in 2017. PRAMS collects population-based data on maternal attitudes and experiences before, during, and shortly after pregnancy. These data is used to identify groups of women and infants at high risk for health problems, monitor changes in health status, and measure progress towards the goals of improving the health of mothers and infants. Historically, this data has only been collected from mothers, without a complementary survey to fathers during the perinatal period and the period of transition to fatherhood. Consequently, collecting data from only the maternal perspective creates an incomplete picture and fails to illustrate the role and impact fathers can have on health outcomes for the whole family. Decades of research demonstrates the positive impacts of paternal engagement on maternal and child health outcomes. Father engagement is associated with earlier initiation of prenatal care, longer periods of breastfeeding, improved social and cognitive development for children, among other positive outcomes.

In 2017, the CDC worked with Georgia Department of Public Health to develop a PRAMS for Dads survey that built on the success of PRAMS to capture the father perspective on the transition to fatherhood. Since then, four other states have developed similar surveys to target efforts in their respective states. North Dakota will be the fifth state to join the effort, by piloting a one-year Fatherhood Experiences Survey starting in June of 2023. The specific aims of the project are as follows:

  • To improve the health and wellness of men, children and families in North Dakota through surveillance of fathers’ social, medical and economic experiences and perspectives.
  • To examine the risks, benefits and opportunities relating to parenthood, and men’s health to inform future programs and education.

Survey & Collected Information

The Fatherhood Experiences survey will comprise of approximately 70 questions, and will collect data on key topics such as, father’s health and access to healthcare, attitudes and experiences on early childhood, substance use and concerns, and gaps in information and resources specific to men and fathers. Given the interconnectedness of men’s, women’s, and children’s health, data from this survey will be relevant to a wide variety of programs and stakeholders. It will allow for a more targeted approach to supporting fathers in the transition to fatherhood and identify areas for collaboration between maternal and paternal health initiatives and healthcare providers. The data from North Dakota will also be comparable to the data collected by other states administering paternal experience surveys and contributing to a growing body of national data.

Anticipated Challenges & Next Steps

In North Dakota, limited contact information is collected from fathers on the birth certificate, presenting a challenge in delivering the survey to the intended recipients. Currently, phone numbers and mailing addresses are only collected from mothers for the birth certificate. This limits the survey delivery options to indirectly reaching fathers through the mother’s contact information, instead of a Direct-to-Dad approach. Therefore, the Fatherhood Experiences Survey will be sent alongside the maternal PRAMS survey to the mailing address of approximately 60% of the mothers being surveyed. This method was chosen for now because in 2020, North Dakota ranked 7th highest compared to other states for percent of births to married mothers (67.2% mothers married). This suggests that the majority of fathers being surveyed will likely live at the same address collected from mothers and will not require the additional step of mothers delivering the survey to fathers living other locations. It is also worth noting that the rates of births out of wedlock are significantly higher in racial minority populations with American Indian women experiencing the highest rates of out of wedlock births.

Survey Significance

This study will collect novel data on men’s health and the paternal impact on birth outcomes, while acknowledging the contributions of fathers and recognizing their significance as parents. It contributes to the understanding of the important role becoming a father may play in men’s health, health behaviors, and healthcare use in this time period, and the importance fathers can play in their families’ lives. Studies like the Fatherhood Experiences Survey can help quantify men’s health behaviors and service needs, which can be used to inform recommended clinical services such as screening for alcohol use, substance use, depression, and oral health. Targeted focus in these areas may lead to better understanding of and interventions aimed at men’s increased morbidity from chronic conditions, riskier behaviors, and reduced life expectancy.

This survey will collect data specific to fathers in North Dakota, while furthering the CDC’s goal of 30 states having a fatherhood experience survey by 2030. Contributing to a national body of data on fathers will allow for the opportunity of national level change to support the health and wellbeing of new fathers.

The Fatherhood Experience Survey also represents a commitment by the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services to reinforce the power of ‘Family Health’ rather than siloed approaches to ‘Men’s Health’ and ‘Maternal and Child Health’. Advancing understanding of health and wellbeing for fathers can provide valuable information used to improve programming, policy, and health not only for fathers but also for their families. This survey will provide invaluable information to support initiatives promoting the health and wellbeing of all North Dakota families.

We look forward to hearing from North Dakota dads!

Ask a researcher archive

Nicholas Bauroth. City Governance: Commission or Council for Fargo, North Dakota?
February 2024

Ina Cernusca. 2024 Brings a NEW Visualization Tool and Data Updates to the North Dakota State Legislative District Profiles.
January 2024

Samuel Faraday Saidu and Chelsey Hukriede. Strapped for Safety: Exploring Insights into Car Seat Knowledge Among North Dakota Mothers.
December 2023

Debarati Kole and Kendra Erickson-Dockter. A Comprehensive Look at the Multifaceted Risk Factors of Postpartum Depression
October 2023

Valquiria F. Quirino and Avram Slone. COVID-19 pandemic in North Dakota: Significance, progression, and government response.
September 2023

Karen Olson. The Lasting Impact of Maternal Childhood Trauma
August 2023

Avram Slone. The Social Variability of COVID-19 Mortality in North Dakota between March 11th, 2020 and February 13th, 2022
July 2023

Nancy Hodur and Dean Bangsund. Agriculture a Key Driver in the North Dakota economy
June 2023

Karen Olson. Health and Well-Being in North Dakota. Understanding how the five social determinants of health are impacting the ability of North Dakotans to thrive
May 2023

Kendra Erickson-Dockter. North Dakota Compass: 10 years of Measuring Progress and Inspiring Action.
April 2023

Hannah Hanson & Grace Njau. Every Dad Counts: North Dakota Fatherhood Experiences Survey
March 2023

Nancy Hodur. Housing Market Conditions and Declining Homeownership Rates
February 2023

North Dakota Compass. 2022 Recap: Data highlighted throughout the year
January 2023

Kendra Erickson-Dockter. A Look into a Chronic Condition and Pregnancy: Preexisting Diabetes PRAMS Points 2022
December 2022

Nancy Hodur and Karen Olson. Lower-income households and baby boomers, main drivers for North Dakota housing needs in the near term
November 2022

Avram Slone. The Impact of COVID-19 on Group Quarters in North Dakota
October 2022

Chelsey Hukriede. Safe Sleep PRAMS Points 
September 2022

Kendra Erickson-Dockter. Gestational Diabetes PRAMS Points – A NEW Dashboard Format!
August 2022

Aastha Bhandari, Debarati Kole, Dr. Nancy Hodur. Mission Of Mercy: Giving hope through a smile.
July 2022

Ina Cernusca.Households with children have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the first year of the pandemic.
May 2022

Andy Wiese and Karen Olson. One Health System’s Approach to Improving Community Health. Understanding what the 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment Conducted by Sanford Health means for population health
April 2022

Mariel Lopez-Valentin and Grace Njau. North Dakota Title X, Family Planning Needs Assessment
January 2022

Nancy Hodur and Dean Bangsund. North Dakota Lignite Energy Industry Workforce
December 2021

Ina Cernusca. Vaccine Acceptance and Hesitancy in North Dakota
October 2021

Nancy Hodur and Karen Olson. Rural Communities Will Benefit from a New Cooperative in Walsh County
September 2021

Matt Schmidt and Grace Njau. COVID-19 Trends Among North Dakota Children, March 2020 – March 2021
August 2021

Kendra Erickson-Dockter and Ina Cernusca. COVID Hardship on North Dakota Households: New study on the impacts on North Dakota households that lost employment income during the pandemic
July 2021

Chelsey Hukriede and Kendra Erickson-Dockter. NEW! PRAMS Points – A Brief Infographic using North Dakota PRAMS Survey Data
May 2021

North Dakota Compass: A look inside the 2021 Compass Points
April 2021

Ina Cernusca: Households with children are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
March 2021

Ina Cernusca: Differences in COVID-19 Risk Factors at District Level
February 2021

Kendra Erickson-Dockter, Chelsey Hukriede, and Grace Njau: An Introduction to the North Dakota Study of Associated Risks of Stillbirth (SOARS)
October 2020

Karen Ehrens: North Dakota Families are Facing Food and Other Hardships in the Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic, and Helpers Respond
September 2020

Ina Cernusca: Taking the pulse of North Dakota households during the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 2020

Nancy Hodur:Challenges of Grocery Stores in Rural North Dakota
May 2020

North Dakota Compass:2020 Compass Points: Measuring progress. Inspiring action.
March 2020

Amy Tichy:Student Veterans in the College Classroom.
February 2020

North Dakota Compass:North Dakota Compass launches the 2020 State Legislative District Profiles
January 2020

Grace Njau, Nancy Hodur:&Chelsey Hukriede: Risk Behaviors among Women with a Recent Live Birth in North Dakota: Findings from the 2017 North Dakota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)
November 2019

Ina Cernusca:& Karen Olson: Behind the scenes – The story of the North Dakota State Legislative District Profiles
October 2019

Ina Cernusca: Key demographic trends in North Dakota.
August 2019

Karen Olson: The 30th edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book finds that 175,772 children will shape the future of a more diverse North Dakota.
July 2019

Shweta Arpit Srivastava & Dr. Ann Burnett: “Giving rope and pulling it back”: Parental dilemmas to prevent adolescent substance use
June 2019

Ina Cernusca: 2019 Compass Points: Setting direction for improving the quality of life in North Dakota
May 2019

Joshua Marineau and Onnolee Nordstrom: Learning from Fargo -- An Exploration of the Fargo-Moorhead Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
March 2019

Nancy Hodur: Improving Oral Health for Older Adults in North Dakota
November 2018

Rachelle Vettern: Engaging Volunteers across Generations
October 2018

Karen Olson: The 2018 KIDS COUNT® Data Book reveals strengths and challenges for children in North Dakota – and emphasizes that an inaccurate census in 2020 threatens to worsen existing challenges for North Dakota youth
July 2018

Lori Capouch: Is food access a concern in rural North Dakota?
May 2018

Deb Nelson: Williston Basin 2016: Employment, Population, and Housing Forecasts – An Overview
January 2018

Karen Olson: North Dakota among Top 10 States in Country for Child Well-Being
July 2017

Nancy Hodur: SEAL!North Dakota: A School Dental Sealant Program
June 2017

Grace Njau: A Brief Introduction to the North Dakota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)
April 2017

Ina Cernusca: North Dakota’s Women study: A brief overview
March 2017

Dean Bangsund: Effects of Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion on Spring Planting for Producers
February 2017

Deb Nelson: Vision West: Leading, Educating, and Collaborating to Mobilize the 19 Western North Dakota Counties Towards Resilience and Prosperity
December 2016

Nancy Hodur: North Dakota Statewide Housing Needs Assessment: A Brief Overview of the Population and Housing Forecast component
November 2016

Social Isolation: Experiential Narratives of African Refugee Women in the Fargo-Moorhead Community
September 2016

Sean Brotherson: Father Involvement and the Future of Children and Families
July 2016

Carol Cwiak: Bakken Oil: What Have We Learned and What Will We Do Differently Next Time
June 2016

Jessica Creuzer: The Changing Face of Western North Dakota: What are the Effects of Increased Travel from Energy Development
April 2016

ND Compass: City Profiles
February 2016

ND Department of Health: Making Change Happen
January 2016

Jennifer Weber: A Bold New Direction for the North Dakota University System - The NDUS Edge Dashboards
December 2015

Wendy Troop-Gordon: What Has Science Taught Us About Bullying?
November 2015

ND Compass: A Look at the Youngest North Dakotans
October 2015

Kendra Erickson-Dockter: Growing Older in North Dakota
September 2015

Michael Ziesch: Data You Can Trust: The Labor Market Information Center
August 2015

Malini Srivastava and Troy Raisanen: efargo: City Scale Sustainability
July 2015

Kevin Iverson: The State Repository of Census Information- The North Dakota Census
June 2015

Wonwoo Byun: Reducing Sedentary Behavior is a Key for Obesity Prevention in Children
May 2015

Kathryn Gordon: The Science of Suicide Prevention
April 2015

ND Compass: Tell a Story with Data! The Importance of Crade-to-Career Success
March 2015

Abby Gold: Community Food Systems: Food Charters and More
February 2015

Heather Fuller-Iglesias: The Importance of Recognizing the Role of Social Support in Human Development Across the Lifespan
January 2015

Michael Carbone: Using Data to End Homelessness
December 2014

Randal Coon: Tribal Colleges Contribute to the State's Economy
November 2014

Deb White: Women's Representation in Elected Office
October 2014

Randal Coon: Pull Factors Measure Retail Trade Performance
September 2014

Karen Olson: North Dakota ranks Well Nationally with Regard to Overall Child Well-Being; However, Substantial Opportunities for Improvement Exist
August 2014

Julie Garden-Robinson: Guard Against Grilling Gaffes: Healthy Grilling and Food Safety Tips
July 2014

Michael Noone: Extreme Weather Patterns- North Dakota Has It All
June 2014

Kathleen Tweeten: Why All Community Development Decisions Should Use the Community Capitals Framework
May 2014

Clayton Hilmert: Stress effects on pregnancy: The impact of the 2009 Red River flood on birth weight
April 2014

Karen Ehrens: Food Deserts and how they impact North Dakota
March 2014

Gretchen Dobervich and Kendra Erickson-Dockter: New Geographic Profiles: How they can work for you
February 2014

Compass Staff: "New Compass Team Brings Changes in 2014"
January 2014

Donna Grandbois: "Fargo-Moorhead American Indian Community-Sponsored Health Needs Assessment"
November 2013

Karen Olson: "North Dakota KIDS COUNT - why it counts for you
October 2013

Nancy Hodur: "Western North Dakota School Administrators Face Challenges"
August 2013

Megan Chmielewski: "Annual population estimates tell interesting stories about North Dakota's growth patterns"
July 2013

Ramona Danielson: "Learn how to make the ND Compass website work for you"
May 2013

Karen Olson: "About the American Community Survey (ACS)"
February 2013

North Dakota Compass

Center for Social Research
North Dakota State University

Compass created by:
Wilder Research

© 2024. All rights reserved.