Military fathers endure repeated separations from their children. In this qualitative study we describe military fathers' range of involvement with their children, paying special attention to the implications of deployment separation and reintegration. We discuss father involvement using three overlapping major domains of functioning: cognitive, affective, and behavioral. Additionally, we consider how types of father involvement differ vis-à-vis child age. Data were gathered via focus groups conducted with 71 fathers at 14 U.S. military installations. Descriptions of involvement were rich and varied. Involvement with children was a major concern for fathers, despite or perhaps because of the challenges of military careers. We discuss factors that help explain variations in involvement and offer insights about the conceptualization of father involvement for occupations requiring prolonged absences from home. (Author abstract)
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