Following a study of stay-at-home fathers in Singapore by the Institute of Policy Studies – focusing on their roles and responsibilities as well as their perceptions of fatherhood, parenthood, and household work – the proposals for more paternity leave and additional measures to reduce the stigma of stay-at-home fathering appear anchored by a broader desire to get more Singaporean fathers more actively involved in the home. And while these exceptional cases of 21 fathers and nine of their spouses are a good starting point, future research should include more diverse family types and demographics and the perspectives of different family members.
Broadly, the study by Chiu et al. (2019) makes two unsurprising but important findings: First, that multi-stressed families (or MF) – compared to the average Singaporean family – have lower levels of financial, human, and social capital to meet their needs; and second, that among these MF, transnational families have even more needs related to system barriers compared to their non-transnational counterparts. Even though these findings have useful implications for family interventions, it might also be productive to consider our definitions and understandings of “multi-stress”, to study MF who might not be receiving social services, and to evaluate the well-being of the youths across different environments.