Mental illness among fathers

25 August 2016

Jonathon Ashe

Masters student Jonathon Ashe is conducting research into mental illness and its impacts on fathers.

University of Waikato masters student Jonathon Ashe is conducting research into how men sustain their relationships and manage their parenting responsibilities through times of illness and stress.

A father himself, Mr Ashe is seeking local dads who have experienced a serious mental illness, and continue to actively parent, to help him with his research.

“Historically, much of the research into parenting has focused on mothers. This is perhaps because many theories of child development stress the key role of mothers over fathers. However it is widely recognised that a good bond with both parents provides the best possible outcomes for children,” says Mr Ashe.

For some fathers, however, serious mental illness impacts on the capacity to manage their responsibilities as a parent, and gets in the way of maintaining functional relationships with children.

“It is the unique ability of some dads with serious mental illness to adapt in the face of this challenge that my research seeks to explore. If you are one of these dads, I would like to invite you to share your story with me in the hope of helping others who face similar struggles,” he says.

Mr Ashe is studying towards a Master of Social Sciences, in conjunction with a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology, under the University’s Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences.

Assisting with the research involves completing an interview which takes about 60-90 minutes. If you are interested in being involved, or would like more information about the research, please email Mr Ashe at