Nonresident Fathers' Contributions to Adolescent Well-Being

Valarie King, Pennsylvania State University
Juliana M. Sobolewski, University of Notre Dame

Using the National Survey of Families and Households, we examine how multiple dimensions of nonresident father involvement are associated with different dimensions of adolescent well-being. We pay particular attention to the quality of father-child ties and father’s responsive parenting. Relationship quality and responsive fathering are modestly associated with fewer externalizing and internalizing problems among adolescents. Furthermore, father involvement is equally beneficial for different groups of children (e.g., boys and girls). At the same time, however, the quality of the mother-child relationship has stronger, more consistent effects on child well-being. Adolescents are worse off on a range of outcomes when they have weak ties to both their parents.

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Presented in Session 68: Family Structure and Child Development