This factsheet explores the relationship between the characteristics of men's families of origin and their own marital relationships and involvement with their own children. It reviews findings from research studies that indicate both the current state of men's marriages and the nature of their involvement in their children's lives may be shaped to a significant degree by the relationship and parenting models fathers experienced in their families of origin. Studies suggest that characteristics of the family of origin influence the timing of men's transitions into fatherhood; marital quality is positively related to the quality of one's parents' marital relationship in the family of origin; fathers' current coparenting behaviors are related to the quality of coparenting in the family of origin; fathers' parenting behaviors and involvement with their children are often associated with one's family of origin; and men are more likely to spend more time living with their own children if they report having positive relationships with their parents during childhood, if they experienced low levels of conflict in their family of origin, if their parents were not engaged in antisocial behaviors, and if they did not experience changes in caretakers as children. The brief notes, however, that some studies have found that the level of involvement that a father has with his children is unrelated to the amount of involvement that his own father had with him. Data is shared from Child Trends analyses of data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) 9-month, 24-month, and 48-month surveys on the father involvement of fathers who did and did not have their own fathers living with them at age 16, and differences in father involvement by race. 11 figures, 11 tables, and 38 references.
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