, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 351-373
Date: 15 Nov 2006

Informal Networks Social Capital of Fathers: What Does the Social Engagement Survey Tell Us?

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Abstract

Using the General Social Survey on Social Engagement conducted by Statistics Canada in 2003, this paper examines social capital derived from informal networks and its variation among men categorized as: (1) men with no children, and (2) men living with children in (a) intact, (b) step, and (c) lone parent families. The focus on men stems from a concern that their role in families has not been as extensively studied as that of women. The results show that married men living with children have higher social capital – measured in terms of the number of friends, relatives, and neighbors, and in their level of trust in them – than lone fathers or step fathers in cohabiting unions. Compared to child-free men, married fathers have higher social capital but also tend to have friends who are more similar to themselves in age, education, or income.