Interhousehold Contributions of Nonresidential Fathers to Children

Sandra Hofferth, University of Maryland
Nicole Forry, University of Maryland

Parents living in separate residences comprise a major source of interfamilial exchange. A positive relationship and exchanges with a nonresidential father are believed to be important to child development. However, little is known about the extent to which nonresidential fathers are involved in children’s daily lives beyond their provision of child support. In this study, a structural equation model was used to evaluate the association between maternal and paternal characteristics and relationship and three aspects of father involvement: paternal accessibility (father-child contact), father-child interaction (relationship quality), and father’s responsibility (financial support). The results show that previous circumstances and current context, including years spent together, geographical distance between the child and father, and parents’ age and marital status at birth are associated with father involvement. Additionally, amount of contact is linked to father-child relationship quality and to financial support but not to parent relationship quality.

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Presented in Session 118: Nonresidential Fathers and Family Relationships