Alvin Thomas

Fatherhood: Identifying Benefits, Acknowledging Barriers and Challenges

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the strengths and challenges of being a father. 
  • Recognize how a father’s positive involvement can positively influence the health of mothers, child, and families. 
  • Identify strategies to create a welcoming environment for fathers and help strengthen father-child relationships. 


Alvin Thomas is the Phyllis Northway Faculty Fellow and Assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Thomas’ is a clinical psychologist whose work exists at the intersection of positive child and youth development and father involvement. A member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s child well-being forum, his research is focused on Black children, Black fathers, and their families and communities, addressing three issues through an ecological lens (a) Youth violence, (b) fatherhood and parenting, and (c) race and discrimination. Dr. Thomas recently launched “The Black Fatherhood Podcast with Dr. Alvin Thomas” exploring issues related to representation, and challenges faced by, Black fathers. Dr. Thomas is the 2021 Louise Kidder Early Career award recipient from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 2022 Early Career award recipient from the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences; and the 2022 Outstanding Alumni for the Max Planx Life Course program. He recently launched the “The Black Fatherhood Podcast with Dr. Alvin Thomas” to explore issues concerning the representation of, and challenges faced by, Black fathers while he educates, validates, and elevates Black fathers.

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