Early father involvement in fragile families (Chapter 11 of Conceptualizing and measuring father involvement.)

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Carlson, Marcia J.
McLanahan, Sara S.
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This chapter uses data from the Fragile Families Study to examine parental involvement by 2,776 unmarried fathers around the time of the child's birth. Findings indicate the father's ability to fulfill the provider role--demonstrated by his higher education, being employed, or higher wages--was linked to positive outcomes. Fathers who were employed were more likely to provide material support during the pregnancy and to visit the mother in the hospital; however, a father's hourly wage rate was the only significant economic characteristic predicting whether the father's name was on the birth certificate. The nature of the parents' relationship was the most consistent predictor of father involvement during pregnancy and birth. Particular methodological issues related to father involvement using the Fragile Families data are discussed. 6 tables, 1 figure, and 43 references.

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