Exploring the Transition to Fatherhood: Feasibility Study Using Social Media and Machine Learning

Teague, Samantha J., and Shatte, Adrian B.R. (2018) Exploring the Transition to Fatherhood: Feasibility Study Using Social Media and Machine Learning. JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting, 1 (2). e12371.

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Background: Fathers’ experiences across the transition to parenthood are underreported in the literature. Social media offers the potential to capture fathers’ experiences in real time and at scale while also removing the barriers that fathers typically face in participating in research and clinical care.

Objective: This study aimed to assess the feasibility of using social media data to map the discussion topics of fathers across the fatherhood transition.

Methods: Discussion threads from two Web-based parenting communities, r/Daddit and r/PreDaddit from the social media platform Reddit, were collected over a 2-week period, resulting in 1980 discussion threads contributed to by 5853 unique users. An unsupervised machine learning algorithm was then implemented to group discussion threads into topics within each community and across a combined collection of all discussion threads.

Results: Results demonstrated that men use Web-based communities to share the joys and challenges of the fatherhood experience. Minimal overlap in discussions was found between the 2 communities, indicating that distinct conversations are held on each forum. A range of social support techniques was demonstrated, with conversations characterized by encouragement, humor, and experience-based advice.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that rich data on fathers’ experiences can be sourced from social media and analyzed rapidly using automated techniques, providing an additional tool for researchers exploring fatherhood.

Item ID: 73655
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2561-6722
Copyright Information: © Samantha J Teague, Adrian BR Shatte. Originally published in JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting (http://pediatrics.jmir.org), 27.11.2018. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://pediatrics.jmir.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2022 23:48
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520101 Child and adolescent development @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200504 Men's health @ 100%
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