The importance of paternal involvement in parenting has been proved via domestic and foreign studies. As many studies consistently proves the positive effect on child's development and father's active involvement in parenting, the term "father's effect" from Parke (2000)'s study is widely used as a common noun. Also, in order to vitalize the father(male)'s involvement in parenting, the government is announcing new policies such as enhancing the use of paternity leave(5% in 2016 to 30% in 2030). Therefore, this study focuses on the current status of paternal involvement of fathers with infants, toddlers and first and second grade elementary school children and the ways of empowering the paternal involvement in parenting. The participants of this study were 1,500 fathers and 1,500 mothers(fathers and mothers are not married; not paired sampling) with infants, toddlers and first and second grade elementary school children. In order to measure father's competency of child rearing, revised and modified version of "parent competency self-list for happy infants and toddlers" was used which was developed by Korea Institute of Child Care and Education in 2013. "parent competency self-list for happy infants and toddlers" includes three areas of awareness, implement, development and four areas of development and play, health, safety and guidance, family relations, physical environment of household and local community. Total number of questions are fifty one.
The results of the survey are as follows. Frist, only small number of fathers actually used the paternal leave. About 18~20% of fathers used paternal leave and only 10.1% of fathers completed father education program. Second, statistically significant difference was found between the fathers'social economic background and competency of child rearing. Fathers' competence of child rearing was high among fathers who are living in the city rather than country(farming and fishing village), and college graduates working in white-collar job with high income. Third, fathers who has previously used paternal leave, fathers who completed the father education program, fathers with short working hours per week, fathers who had good relationship with their fathers during childhood had higher competency of child rearing. Fourth, among the four areas of development and play, health, safety and guidance, family relations, physical environment of household and local community, usually score of physical environment of household and local community was low compared to other areas. This result can be interpreted as fathers' child rearing competency is high in relationship between person to person such as father-child-couple. However, weak in person to institution(preschool, kindergarten, elementary school), person to local community
Fifth, statistically significant difference was found between the score that fathers gave to themselves and the score of their wives gave them. This shows that the gap exists between competency of child rearing that fathers evaluate themselves and how their wives evaluate. Sixth, child rearing competency was high among the fathers who had good father-son relationship during childhood years. Many fathers replied as "I want to be better father than my father". Their desired father image was attentive and friendly father. They grew up with strict child rearing method from their fathers however, wanted to be attentive and friendly to their child. Seventh, about 90% of participants said father education is necessary and mothers'response of necessity of father education was higher than the fathers' Based on these findings the study suggests the "institutional support system" for fathers to participate in child rearing and "father education program support system" to empower father's competence of child rearing. Especially the study suggests "guideline for father education" that considered father's life cycle and to make the father education possible whenever and wherever.