Journal of Marriage and the Family
Although research increasingly focuses on non-resident biological fathers, little attention has been given to the role of other men in children s lives. The authors examine the factors associated with social father presence and their influence on preschoolers development. Findings indicate that the majority of children have a social father and that mother, child, and nonresident biological father characteristics are all related to social father presence. These associations differ depending on whether the social father is the mother s romantic partner or a male relative. The social father s influence on children s development also depends on his relationship to the child. Male relative social fathers are associated with higher levels of children s school readiness, whereas mothers romantic partner social fathers are associated with lower levels of emotional maturity. (Author abstract, 2 tables (1+ 4), numerous references)
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