Data Snapshot: Changes in Father Involvement 2002-2016.

Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Alison and Ramos-Olazagasti
Author (Organization)
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse.
Resource Type
NRFC Quick Statistics and Research Reviews
Resource Format
Resource Language

This Data Snapshot reports on how resident and non-resident fathers’ involvement with their young and school-age children changed from 2002 to 2016.

Data in this snapshot come from the 2002 and 2015–2017 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) (see Data box, page 12). Analyses are limited to men aged 20–44 who reported having at least one minor child (ages 0–18). Information on father involvement is shown separately for resident and non-resident fathers, and by child age (0–4 and 5–18), because developmentally appropriate involvement varies by residency and by a child’s age.

For each analysis, we present data graphically and point out key findings. We underline each increase or decrease that is a statistically significant change. When we do not indicate significance, there may have been a change, but it is not statistically significant. All changes mentioned in the Highlights section (page 3) are significant.

The figures in the snapshot show fathers’ reports of how frequently during the previous four weeks they engaged in various activities with their youngest child. Fathers whose youngest child was 0–4 years old were asked to report on four activities (eating a meal, playing, reading, and bathing; Figures 1-4), and fathers whose youngest child was 5–18 years old were asked about three activities (eating a meal, helping with homework, and travel to activities; Figures 5-7).

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