Journal of Family Issues
The growing diversity in mother–father relationship status has led to a debate over the role of fathers in parenting. Little is known, however, about how fathers’ participation in parenting is linked to maternal well-being across different mother–father relationship statuses. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 2,062), fixed-effects as well as random-effects regression models show that overall fathers’ engagement with children and sharing in child-related chores are negatively related to maternal parenting stress. Fathers’ cooperative co-parenting is negatively related to maternal parenting stress only in the random-effects model, suggesting that the association is driven by selection factors. There is little variation in these associations by mother–father relationship status, once selection factors are controlled for. These findings extend support for the current cultural emphasis on benefits of fathers’ active participation in parenting for mothers and children even after the mother–father relationship dissolved. (Author abstract)
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