Do Unmarried, Non-Resident, Low-Income Fathers Provide Support for Their Children? Evidence from a Low-Income Inner-City Population

Irma T. Elo, University of Pennsylvania
Laryssa Mykyta, University of Pennsylvania
Jennifer Culhane, Drexel University

In this paper, we examine the types of support unmarried, non-resident, low-income fathers provide to their children’s mothers. We use prospective, longitudinal data from an inner city population to (1) describe the types of support these fathers provide; (2) examine factors associated with the provision of different types of support; and (3) explore changes in the level and type of paternal involvement and support through the first two years of the child’s life. We contribute to the literature on father involvement by incorporating measures of prenatal expectations of paternal involvement and by analyzing the impact of the presence of maternal kin on fathers’ involvement with their children. Preliminary findings indicate that relationship status, father’s employment status, and mother’s prenatal expectations are key determinants of paternal support and suggest that the presence of maternal kin in the household may reduce father involvement.

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Presented in Session 135: Paternity Establishment and Father's Investments in Children