American Journal of Community Psychology
This study was designed to examine the associations of biological father and social father involvement during childhood with African American young men’s development and engagement in risk behaviors. With a sample of 505 young men living in the rural South of the United States, a dual mediation model was tested in which retrospective reports of involvement from biological fathers and social fathers were linked to young men’s substance misuse and multiple sexual partnerships through men’s relational schemas and future expectations. Results from structural equation modeling indicated that levels of involvement from biological fathers and social fathers predicted young men’s relational schemas; only biological fathers’ involvement predicted future expectations. In turn, future expectations predicted levels of substance misuse, and negative relational schemas predicted multiple sexual partnerships. Biological fathers’ involvement evinced significant indirect associations with young men’s substance misuse and multiple sexual partnerships through both schemas and expectations; social fathers’ involvement exhibited an indirect association with multiple sexual partnerships through relational schemas. Findings highlight the unique influences of biological fathers and social fathers on multiple domains of African American young men’s psychosocial development that subsequently render young men more or less likely to engage in risk behaviors. (Author abstract)
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