Children benefit from high quality relationships with their fathers in a number of ways. However, little is known about the origins of father-child relationships. Here, identity theory and data from the Fragile Families dataset are used to investigate associations between mothers' and fathers' fathering identities at the time of the child's birth and nine years later, and the father-child relationship as reported by children at age nine. Neither mothers' nor fathers' role identity standards at birth were associated with father-child relationship quality, but greater father status centrality and not having considered abortion were associated with better father-child relationships. The association between abortion consideration and relationship quality was mediated by whether parents were romantically involved at Year 9. Implications for theory, policy, and practice are discussed. (Author abstract)
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