Fathers are involved in their children's lives in a multitude of ways that go beyond the traditional roles of economic provider and playmate. However, few studies that include fathers tap all aspects of fathers' involvement in children's lives. Furthermore, the quality of father-child interactions is not as frequently studied or as well understood as is the quantity of father-child contact. This is especially problematic given the large number of U.S. fathers who do not live with their children. Researchers are now calling for an expansion of research to address aspects of father involvement that assess both quality and quantity and that examine direct and indirect forms of father involvement in children's lives. This brief summarizes key research findings on new ways of thinking about father involvement and the roles that fathers play in children's lives. (Author abstract)
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