European Fatherhood
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Welcome to the website on European Fatherhood.

We present information on men, equality, and fatherhood in Europe.

The content is for professionals working in the area as well as anyone interested in the subject.




Svend Aage Madsen, Ph.D. (Head of project)

Svend Aage Madsen, Ph.D., Head of Department of Psychology, Play Therapy and Social Work and of ‘Psychological and Psychosocial Research Unit’, The Juliane Marie Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Svend Aage Madsen, who is the leader of this project, was among the first in Denmark to conduct research on fatherhood and male postnatal depression. That was in 1996. Now celebrating his 10th anniversary in the field, he is able to look back on the progress that has been made even as he anticipates more challenges ahead.

The focus of his work is now very much on the practical questions of how to develop and implement male sensitive communication with fathers in health services, while his research and focuses on creating and implementing male and father specific methods in psychotherapy.

Svend Aage Madsen currently employs 11 psychologists and 3 social scientists at the Psychological and Psychosocial Research Unit. This unit has produced several research theses and developmental guidelines with a particular focus on men and fatherhood. They have also had the pleasure of arranging several conferences with international lecturers and participants.

Part of Svend Aage Madsen’s considerable activity in the field of gender research has consisted of participating in the Danish Minister for Equality’s think-tank on men and equalities. He is President of the Men’s Health Society in Denmark, a member of the Steering Group of European Men's Health Network, Head of a Nordic network on Men’s Health, and was invited as a commentator at the Conference of The European Work Changes Gender study of men and organizations in Sofia 2004.

The research unit has conducted several large research- and development programs and projects e.g. “Fathers’ Relations to their Infants and Toddlers”, “Psychological and Psychosocial Aspects of Rape and Sexual Assault”, “Men’s Health”, “Sexual Abuse of Children”, “Families with Obese Children”, and “Men’s Psychological Transition to Fatherhood”. The unit participates in several Danish and international research networks, e.g. the “Danish Society for Men’s Health”, the “Danish Research Network on Men and Masculinities”, the “European Men’s Health Forum”, the “World Association of Infant Mental Health”, the “Network on Gender and Violence” under “The Nordic Council of Ministers”, the “Nordic Network on Infant Research” and the “Nordic Network on Men’s Health”.

The unit has established research-cooperation on fatherhood with various other European countries – especially the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany.




With support from the European Community - Programme relating to the Community Framework Strategy on Gender Equality (2001-2006).The information contained in this website does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Commission.