‘Dad Data’: the potentials of seeing and researching ‘men as fathers’ using secondary analysis (online)



Organised by:

University of Leeds (an NCRM partner)


Prof Anna Tarrant and Rebecca Goldman


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


Marie Johnson
Tel: 0113 343 4407
Email: m.b.johnson@leeds.ac.uk

video conference logo

Venue: Online


‘Dad Data’ is a one-day course designed to introduce participants to existing quantitative and qualitative data about UK fathers, which can be accessed from data archives for secondary analysis. This data - that tells us about men in their roles as fathers and male caregivers (and their impacts) – can, and should, be used in secondary analysis to address research questions about children, young people, interparental relationships, families, work, caring, gender and other societal issues.

Although this ‘dad data’ is ready and waiting to be analysed, researchers may not be aware of its existence or know how to make use of it for their own research interests. This means that the potential of ‘seeing’ fathers in data and analysing societal concerns through the lens of fatherhood is yet to be fully realised, with subsequent policy and practice impacts missed.

Participants will be introduced to the creative ways in which researchers might ‘see’ and research fathers in data. The course will showcase six national longitudinal studies of children, families and households (e.g. Growing Up in Scotland and Understanding Society) that contain ‘dad data’ for quantitative analysis, as well as qualitative longitudinal datasets that feature the voices and experiences of fathers (from the Timescapes Archive at the University of Leeds).

Participants will have opportunities to explore the relevance of ‘dad data’ for their own work, and to identify new research questions and future directions.  Q&A sessions following expert presentations will support exploration of challenges, new questions, and future opportunities for research involving this important, valuable and underused ‘dad data’. 

The course runs from 10:00 to 15:30.


The course involves: 

  • An exploration of why and how data generated both with and about dads are often overlooked as important sources of social insight and influences on children and young people, 

  • A showcase of existing sources of UK data about fathers, both quantitative and qualitative, including what data have been collected and are available for re-use and secondary analysis, 
  • Expert insights into cutting-edge research and practice where researchers have used data to advance knowledge about family, children and young people, practice and policy through the lens of fathers and fatherhoods, 
  • Guided consideration of how quantitative and qualitative ‘dad data’ can be used to explore existing and new research and policy/practice relevant questions and themes.


By the end of the course participants will: 

  • Have considered the importance of ‘dad data’ for analysis about children, young people, interparental relationships and families, 
  • Have a greater understanding of UK-based ‘dad data’ generated through major quantitative and qualitative studies, 
  • Have an improved understanding of key quantitative and qualitative data sources about fathers in all their diversity, with a particular focus on UK datasets about young fathers and fathers during the infancy and adolescence of their children, 
  • Have increased knowledge about how UK qualitative and quantitative longitudinal data relating to fathers have been collected and preserved, 
  • Discover the potential of UK longitudinal study data (both quantitative and qualitative) about fathers including its value for exploring a much wider set of substantive themes.  


Rebecca Goldman is an Associate of the Fatherhood Institute and an independent research consultant. She has expertise in father-data in quantitative datasets, and in evidence review. She has carried out several reviews of dad data in the UK’s large-scale quantitative studies (Where’s the Daddy, 2017; Who’s the Bloke in the Room, 2018, Bringing Baby Home, 2022, and The kids are alright, 2024), and reviewed methodological literature on own household fathers (living separately from their children for all or some of the time) in longitudinal studies for the ESRC. Before that, she worked in central government departments, commissioning research and using evidence to inform policy and practice development. 


Professor Anna Tarrant is Professor of Sociology at the University of Lincoln and a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow. She is leading a major seven-year study called Following Young Fathers Further, which examines the parenting journeys and support needs of young fathers, aged 25. She is the author of several books relevant to fatherhood, qualitative secondary analysis and data re-use. These include The Dynamics of Young Fatherhood (2024 with Bren Neale, Policy Press), Men, Families and Poverty (2023, with Kahryn Hughes, Palgrave), Fathering and Poverty (2021, Policy Press) and Qualitative Secondary Analysis (2020 with Kahryn Hughes, Sage).


This is an online training event that will be held on zoom. You will need to have a microphone and camera on your device to enable you to participate in the course.

This course is aimed at researchers in a range of disciplines (in universities and elsewhere), research funders/commissioners, data analysts, policymakers, charities, and service users with special interests in fatherhood, childhood, family life, work, caring, gender, social policy and more. Pre-existing expertise in researching fatherhood is not needed although participants should be open to considering fatherhood as an area of analysis and exploring ‘dad data’ as part of their broader research about childhood, family life and so on. 


The fee per teaching day is £35 per day for students / £75 per day for staff working for academic institutions, Research Councils and other recognised research institutions, registered charity organisations and the public sector / £250 per day for all other participants. In the event of cancellation by the delegate a full refund of the course fee is available up to two weeks prior to the course. NO refunds are available after this date. If it is no longer possible to run a course due to circumstances beyond its control, NCRM reserves the right to cancel the course at its sole discretion at any time prior to the event. In this event every effort will be made to reschedule the course. If this is not possible or the new date is inconvenient a full refund of the course fee will be given. NCRM shall not be liable for any costs, losses or expenses that may be incurred as a result of its cancellation of a course, including but not limited to any travel or accommodation costs. The University of Southampton’s Online Store T&Cs also continue to apply.

Website and registration:


Yorkshire and Humberside


Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis, Quantitative Data Handling and Data Analysis, Mixed Methods Data Handling and Data Analysis, ‘Dad Data’, Fathers, Fatherhood, Children and young people, Families, Longitudinal Datasets/Panel studies, Quantitative secondary analysis, Qualitative secondary analysis

Related publications and presentations:

Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis
Quantitative Data Handling and Data Analysis
Mixed Methods Data Handling and Data Analysis

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