Children and Youth Services Review
Through the lens of social role theory, provider role strain and father "presence", a qualitative design was used to explore nonresident fathers' perceptions of their role in their children's education and the ways in which they are actively engaged in their children's educational lives. Findings revealed that nonresident fathers with diverse racial, educational and occupational backgrounds (N = 39, mean age = 35) experienced regret over not meeting their own educational goals and they attributed their inability to consistently support their children financially to their educational failures. These low- to moderate-income fathers hoped to prevent their children from experiencing the same disappointments and financial hardships that they did and consequently emphasized the importance of education to their children. Fathers reported being present in their children's educational lives as advisors, teachers and/or investors. As advisors, fathers encouraged their children to stay in school and to not make mistakes that might derail them from their educational goals. As teachers, fathers provided cognitive support. Finally, fathers aimed to invest in their children's education by saving money for their educational futures. Programs and policies that promote educational presence are likely to influence the educational outcomes of children with nonresident fathers. Recommendations include educational savings accounts and an emphasis on educational engagement in responsible fatherhood policies and programs. (Author abstract)
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