School of Human Ecology l Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Hometown: Dennery, Saint Lucia
Alvin Thomas is a clinically trained psychologist focused on the risk and protective factors for African-American boys, the positive development of youth, and the engagement of fathers in care of their children. He is interested in training gaps related to father (non-resident) involvement in service provision to their children. He is an alumni fellow of the International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course, and the Health Equity Leadership Institute. He has presented his work internationally and has earned numerous awards including Center for the Education of Women Scholarship (first man to receive an award from the Center in its 40-year history)
The challenges to positive youth development, especially for ethnically/racially marginalized youth are many. This presentation examines some of these challenges, but also specific findings on how negative trajectory can be interrupted and the role of key agents in this important work.
More men today are actively involved in the lives of their children than they would report was the case for their own fathers, however, our social fabric is still slow in its full integration of fathers. Our organizations are challenged in their appreciation of the role of fathers, and even in the family, fathers face significant barriers. What are some of the father related, organization orientation, and relational factors that could enhance the contribution of fathers beyond child support?