This study tested a model hypothesizing mothers' level of involvement as well as marital conflict, mothers' work hours, and father's status as biological or step father as influences on coresident father involvement. The analysis also tested hypotheses about mother involvement as a potential mediator of the effects of marital conflict and maternal work hours on father involvement, and hypotheses about factors influencing mother involvement. Primary data were provided by children aged 10-14 from the NLSY79 who resided with their biological or step father and with their mother. A composite involvement measure including engagement in positive activities, closeness and responsiveness, and monitoring and decision-making formed a single latent factor for fathers as well as mothers. As hypothesized, father involvement was predicted by mother involvement, and the reciprocal influence was not significant. Father involvement was associated with low marital conflict and being a biological father. Mother involvement was associated with low marital conflict and low maternal work hours. Mothers' involvement partially mediated the effects of marital conflict on father involvement. (Author abstract)
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