|With the increased involvement of husbands in family-centered maternity care, health care workers find a greater need for knowledge regarding the changes with which a husband must deal during his initial parenting experience. An investigative study was conducted to answer the questions: (1) What attitudes and behaviors do men perceive as characteristic of fathering just prior to and shortly after becoming first-time fathers? and (2) What changes will occur in the father's perception of attitudes and behaviors characteristic of fathering in the period from three weeks antepartum to five weeks postpartum? A total of 53 first-time, expectant fathers completed the Prenatal Questionnaire zero to three weeks before their infants' expected dates of birth, and 50 out of the original 53 complete the Postnatal Questionnaire three to five weeks after the birth of their infants. The Prenatal Questionnaire consisted of (a) a measure of the expectant father's projected baby care activities, the Baby Care Activities Inventory (BCAI) by the researcher and Stiles (1974), (b) a measure of the husband's accommodation to his marriage, the Short Marital Adjustment Test (SMAT) by Locke and Wallace (1959), (c) a measure of the husband's perceptions of his own activities with his father and the activities he plans with his own child, the Fathering Activities Inventory with Own Father (FAIOF) and with Own Child (FAIOC) by the researcher and Stiles (1974), (d) a measure of the subject's prenatal depression level, the Depression Inventory (DI) by Beck, Ward, Mandelson, Mock, and Erbaugh (1961), and (e) a gathering of demographic data through a personal data sheet. The Postnatal Questionnaire contained (a) a measure of the new father's reported baby care activities, the BCAI by the research and Stiles (1974), (b) a measure of the subject's postnatal depression level, the DI by Beck et al. (1961), (c) a measure of the changes in selected areas of the subject's lifestyle, the Lifestyle Changes Inventory (LSCI) by the research and Stiles (1974), and (d) a report of the intrapartum and postpartum period of the wives of the subjects. In regard to the expected baby the majority of subjects had no sex preference (69.8%), had redecorated (90.7%), and had two names picked out (75.5%). Out of 53 subjects, 44 reported planned pregnancies. During labor and delivery, all but one husband was with his wife in labor and 43 out of 50 watched their infant's birth. The FAICC, an indicator of subjects' projected future activities, resulted in a mean of 25.36 out of 26 possible indicating a high level of planned future father-child activities. The SMAT resulted in a group mean of 124.60 indicating a well-adjusted group. The LSCI postnatally indicated a majority of subjects had no changes in their lifestyles. Lifestyles around the home such as amount of sleep had changed the most, while lifestyle away from home such as employer or type of work had changed the least. Using rough estimates of the number of hours spent at home per week, the data indicated a non-statistically significant increase in hours spent at home postnatally as compared to prenatally. The majority of husbands felt equally important in the care of the new baby. The mean scores on the prenatal and postnatal DI's showed no depression according to the values determined by Bick et al. (1961), but the prenatal depression level was slightly higher. The prenatal and postnatal BCAI's resulted in high levels of projected activities (30.89 out of 36) and somewhat lower reported activities (25.34 out of 36). Statistically significant relationships were found between the following variables. Higher marital adjustment scores were related to greater projected baby care activities and lower prenatal and postnatal depression levels. Increase lifestyle changes were related to greater postnatal baby care activities and also increased levels of depression. Unplanned pregnancies were related to increased lifestyle changes. There was statistically significant difference between prenatal and postnatal levels of depression (p < .05) and also between prenatal and postnatal BCAI scores. In summary, the subject showed and overall high involvement in their initial parenting experience.