Responsible Fatherhood Spotlight: Fathers' Pregnancy Intentions and Involvement With Children.

Year Published
Author (Organization)
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse.
Resource Type
Fact Sheet
Resource Format
Resource Language

This factsheet explores the relationship between men's pregnancy intentions with the quantity and quality of fathers' later involvement with their children and partners, and for child well-being. Research is cited that indicates men who report that a partner's pregnancy was unintended are likely to exhibit lower levels and poorer quality of involvement with their children following birth. In addition, men's pregnancy intentions are associated with the quality of the father-mother relationship and with children's cognitive and socioemotional well-being. Studies suggest: men whose relationships result in unintended pregnancies show lower levels of subsequent involvement with their children, compared with men who report that the pregnancy was planned and wanted; children resulting from unwanted pregnancies may experience less positive parenting behaviors; fathers who report that a pregnancy was unintended exhibit lower levels of involvement with the resulting children in a number of areas, including caregiving, warmth, and nurturing behaviors, compared with fathers who wanted the pregnancy; unintended pregnancy is linked to problems with fathers' emotional well-being and identity development; and when fathers report that pregnancies were unintended, children exhibit lower levels of mental proficiency and attachment security. 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 differences in fathers' pregnancy intentions by age and race. The ECLS-B includes 10,688 children and their caregivers, and it follows these children from infancy until the time that they enter first grade. 3 figures, 2 tables, and 41 references.

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