How ancient is father care of human infants and young children, and why did it emerge? Is it possible that father care arose among the ancestors of modern humans and became essential for survival? Or is it a recent, though variable, development? Is father care an evolved trait of Homo sapiens or is it a learned cultural behavior transmitted across generations in some societies but not others? In this important study, Frank L’Engle Williams examines the anthropological record for evidence of the social behaviors associated with paternity, suggesting that ample evidence exists for the…
Across the political spectrum, unwed fatherhood is denounced as one of the leading social problems of today. Doing the Best I Can is a strikingly rich, paradigm-shifting look at fatherhood among inner-city men often dismissed as “deadbeat dads.” Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson examine how couples in challenging straits come together and get pregnant so quickly—without planning. The authors chronicle the high hopes for forging lasting family bonds that pregnancy inspires, and pinpoint the fatal flaws that often lead to the relationship’s demise. They offer keen insight into a radical…
A father will always play a vital role in a child's growing years, especially sons. His absence or presence in the child's life will have a profound impact in the future. In Black Fathers Black Sons, author Ray Waters delves into the relationships of African-American men and reveals new insights that will fuel debate and debunk many myths. (Author abstract)
This booklet features articles written by parents with experience navigating the child welfare system. Topics addressed include peer support, visiting, legal representation, relationships with foster parents, parenting classes, fathers’ rights, addiction and recovery, domestic violence, and reunification. (Author abstract modified)
This chapter draws upon 14 years of related ethnographic studies to uncover the principal features that characterize family life among the poor. Experiences dealing with multiple agencies are discussed, as well as experiences dealing with health problems in the context of the U.S. medical care system, and the aftermaths of household emergencies. 34 references.
This chapter reviews how theorists and policymakers portray the state’s capacity to alter the behavior and beliefs of low income parents and then highlights findings from a study of two women’s experiences in their efforts to find jobs and supportive resources. Finding a job and securing welfare supports were linked to their parenting pathway, however, the mothers’ first concern was their children’s well-being. The chapter concludes by exploring whether the motivating power of raising children might lead to a more effective family policy. 34 references. (Author abstract modified)
Findings are shared from a longitudinal, qualitative study that examined the links between urban poverty-related conditions and the quality of parent-child relationships in 10 families, specifically the care and protection of infants and toddlers. The effects on parenting of the family cap, subsidized child care, and welfare-to-work requirements are discussed. 22 references.
This chapter synthesizes the results of both quantitative experimental and qualitative research about how low-income children fare as their mothers spend more time in the labor market and attempt to strike a new balance between work and parenting. Findings indicate policies that effectively increase parental income as they increase employment improve the well-being of young children and are the most promising for helping families cope. Numerous references.
A study used qualitative methods to explore the specific mechanisms and processes through which poverty and welfare changes affected 186 low-income families with young children. Particular attention was paid to the relative influences of factors related to welfare reform, family financial resources, and characteristics associated with parent, child, and family functioning. Case studies are offered. 26 references.
This chapter reports on in-depth interviews with 41 current and recent TANF recipients that discussed the various contributions that fathers make to their children, their strengths and limitations as fathers, and the benefits and challenges of their varying levels of participation in family life. It then explores whether mothers’ voices can inform policy options. 1 table and numerous references.