This paper examines the relationship between father involvement and their child’s behaviour outcomes amongst a birth cohort of Pacific children and fathers in New Zealand. A birth cohort was established in 2000 from births at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland where at least one parent was identified as being of Pacific ethnicity and a New Zealand permanent resident. This included 1,376 mothers, 825 fathers, and 1,398 children at baseline. At the 6-years measurement wave, father involvement was measured using the Inventory of Father Involvement, and child behaviour measured using the Child Behaviour Check-list. Internalising and externalising behaviour was related to father involvement in crude and adjusted logistic regression and generalised estimating equation models. 571 Pacific fathers participated at the 6-years measurement wave; most of Samoan (42.9 %) or Tongan (33.5 %) ethnic identification. Overall, 190 (32.1 %) children exhibited clinical or border-line internalising and externalising behaviour. Self-reported father involvement was generally high, but lower involvement was significantly related to increased odds of internalising [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) approximately 1.9, p < 0.001] and externalising (aOR approximately 4.0, p < 0.001) behaviour. Father involvement was significantly associated with child behaviour in Pacific families within New Zealand. Strategies that promote and enable increased father involvement may reduce negative child outcomes amongst Pacific families.
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We are grateful to the participants who agreed to be interviewed and whose detailed responses provided the basis of this article.
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Tautolo, ES., Schluter, P.J. & Paterson, J. Pacific Father Involvement and Early Child Behaviour Outcomes: Findings from the Pacific Islands Families Study. J Child Fam Stud 24, 3497–3505 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-015-0151-5
- Child behaviour
- Pacific health
- Pacific families
- Early childhood