Black fathers' experiences of their child's autism

Black fathers’ experiences of autism in the UK are yet to be captured or represented in research. Dr Eli Gemegah's doctoral findings conveyed fathers’ limited involvement in their child’s care needs.

Individual experiences differ according to one’s socio-demographics (gender, race, socio-economic status) and this study recognises the role that each of these factors can play on fathers’ experiences and as Black men in the UK. There is currently little research that explores Black fathers’ experiences of their child’s autism in the UK. The information fathers provide will help us to understand more about their experiences and inform ways to better support dads specifically, in the future.

This research provides an opportunity to share fathers’ experiences of raising their child with autism and contribute to much needed research evidence on Black fathers and autism discourse.

Latest publication

Experiences of Black fathers of autistic children in the United Kingdom (PDF)

Research objectives

This small study aims to investigate fatherhood experiences in general, and examine cultural influences on fathers’ involvement, engagement and overall presence in their child’s life (up to 25years old). The second purpose for this study is to assess the multiple factors (work, culture, parenting styles, support, coping strategies) that influence fathers’ experiences of their child with autism.

Fathers will be asked questions about their experiences including:

  • Involvement in their child’s life, the things they do together and for their child
  • Their roles and responsibilities as a dad
  • Support they have received, would like to have received or will receive in the future
  • How their role has changed over time and is changing

Outputs and impact

The findings of the study will be shared in a number of ways. Firstly, the results will be included in a report to the funders of the project (ESRC), and a short summary for participants who indicate that they would like to receive updates. The findings will also be used to write peer-reviewed journal articles (aimed at academics) and a range of freely available articles for fathers, families and professionals. Findings may also be shared at academic conferences and at seminars and events for fathers and professionals.

Research team

Partner organisations and sponsors (funding)

This project is funded by the Economic Social and Research Council (ESRC).