Toward a Fuller Understanding of Nonresident Father Involvement: A Joint Examination of Child Support and In-Kind Support Receipt

Steven Garasky, Iowa State University
Susan D. Stewart, Iowa State University
Craig G. Gundersen, Iowa State University
Brenda J. Lohman, Iowa State University

Less than half of all custodial parents receive child support payments but nearly 60 percent receive in-kind support of some form. In-kind (i.e., noncash) contributions from nonresident parents include such things as purchasing food or clothing for the child, or paying for the child’s extracurricular activities. Based on a sample of children with nonresident fathers from the CDS-II of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this study investigates the determinants of in-kind support receipt from nonresident fathers and addresses three research questions. First, is the receipt of cash child support and other economic contributions (in-kind support) positively (i.e., are complements) or negatively (i.e., are substitutes) related? Second, are frequent and high-quality visits with nonresident fathers positively associated with receipt of economic support (child support and in-kind)? Third, do the relationships between child support and in-kind support receipt and visitation vary by the income level of children’s families?

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Presented in Session 118: Nonresidential Fathers and Family Relationships