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Testing a Contextual Model of Effects of Father Involvement on Child Behaviors

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Abstract

To conduct secondary data analyses to test a heuristic contextual model of father involvement (mother and father report of father caregiving) at 5 years of age on children’s internalizing, externalizing, and delinquency behaviors subsequently measured at middle childhood. Data from two waves of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study were analyzed. Path analyses found that mother-reported father involvement was significantly negatively predictive of child externalizing in girls and delinquency in boys, even after controlling for the effects of father age, socioeconomic status, and health, and including the effects of mother involvement in the models. Mother involvement was significantly positively predictive of child externalizing in girls and delinquency in boys. In the context of a model that explicitly considers the confounding effects of father characteristics and mother involvement, early father involvement was found to be predictive of later lessened child externalizing behaviors.

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Correspondence to Craig T. Nagoshi.

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Jamel Slaughter declares that he has no conflict of interest. Craig Nagoshi declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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Slaughter, J., Nagoshi, C.T. Testing a Contextual Model of Effects of Father Involvement on Child Behaviors. Child Adolesc Soc Work J (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-020-00649-5

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Keywords

  • Delinquency
  • Early and middle childhood
  • Externalizing
  • Father involvement
  • Internalizing
  • Mother involvement