Father involvement research has typically not recognized that reports of involvement contain at least two components: 1 reflecting a view of father involvement that is broadly recognized in the family, and another reflecting each reporter’s unique perceptions. Using a longitudinal sample of 302 families, this study provides a first examination of shared and unique views of father involvement (engagement and warmth) from the perspectives of fathers, children, and mothers. This study also identifies influences on these shared and unique perspectives. Father involvement reports were obtained when the child was 12 and 14 years old. Mother reports overlapped more with the shared view than father or child reports. This suggests the mother’s view may be more in line with broadly recognized father involvement. Regarding antecedents, for fathers’ unique view, a compensatory model partially explains results; that is, negative aspects of family life were positively associated with fathers’ unique view. Children’s unique view of engagement may partially reflect a sentiment override with father antisocial behaviors being predictive. Mothers’ unique view of engagement was predicted by father and mother work hours and her unique view of warmth was predicted by depression and maternal gatekeeping. Taken, together finding suggests a far more nuanced view of father involvement should be considered. (Author abstract)
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