Fathers' Injury Prevention


This research examined fathers’ attitudes and practices towards preventing injury and keeping children safe. We interviewed 64 families with children aged 2-7 years from urban and rural settings across BC and Quebec to find out:

– How social ideas about masculinity influence fathering

– How fathers and mothers make decisions together about child risk and safety

– How living in different urban and rural settings influences their parenting decisions

We found that the changing role of fathers provides an important opportunity for engaging them in supporting their children’s risk taking and injury prevention. Most couples perceived that men were more comfortable with risk than women, with most fathers placing a high value on providing children with risk taking opportunities. We developed a model outlining 4 decision-making characteristics for striking a balance between risk and protection. Fathers in different geographic settings differed in the purpose they ascribed to children’s play, ranging from play as a means of emotional engagement, to develop capacity for outdoor activities and to teach children survival skills, for fathers in large urban settings, small urban settings, and rural settings, respectively.

Funded By

Generously supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research



Creighton, G., Brussoni, M., Oliffe, J., & Olsen, L. L. (2015). “It’s good for the kids”: Fathers consider risk and protection in their own and their children’s lives. Journal of Family Issues, 38(8), 1043-1065. DOI: 10.1177/0192513X15584679 [link

Creighton, G., Brussoni, M., Oliffe, J., & Han, C. (2017). Picturing masculinities: Using photo-elicitation in men’s health research. American Journal of Men’s Health, 11(5), 1472-1485. DOI: 10.1177/1557988315611217 [link]

Olsen, L. L., Oliffe, J. L., Brussoni, M., & Creighton, G. (2015). Fathers’ views on their financial situations, father-child activities, and preventing child injuries. American Journal of Men’s Health, 9(1), 15-25. doi: 10.1177/1557988313515699 [link]

Creighton, G., Brussoni, M., Oliffe, J. L., & Olsen, L. L. (2015). Fathers on child’s play: Urban and rural Canadian perspectives. Men and Masculinities, 18(5), 559-580. DOI: 10.1177/1097184X14562610 [link]

Brussoni, M., Olsen, L. L., Creighton, G., & Oliffe, J. L. (2013). Heterosexual gender relations in and around childhood risk and safety. Qualitative Health Research, 23(10), 1388-1398. DOI: 10.1177/1049732313505916 [link]

Brussoni, M., Creighton, G., Olsen, L. L., & Oliffe, J. L. (2013). Men on fathering in the context of children’s unintentional injury prevention. American Journal of Men’s Health, 7, 75-84. DOI: 10.1177/1557988312462739 [link]

Brussoni, M., & Olsen, L. L. (2013). The perils of overprotective parenting: Fathers’ perspectives explored. Child: Care, Health and Development, 39, 237-245. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01361.x. [link]

Olsen, L. L., Kruse, S., & Brussoni, M. (2013). Unheard voices: A qualitative exploration on fathers’ access of child safety information. Journal of Community Health, 38, 187-194. DOI: 10.1007/s10900-012-9601-9 [link]

Brussoni, M., & Olsen, L. (2011). Striking a balance between risk and protection: Fathers’ attitudes and practices towards child injury prevention. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 32(7), 491-498. DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31821bd1f5 [link]