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J Marriage Fam. 2006 Aug;68(3):537-557.

Nonresident Fathers' Contributions to Adolescent Well-Being.

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Department of Sociology, The Pennsylvania State University, 211 Oswald Tower, University Park, PA 16802 ( ).


Using data from 453 adolescents in Wave 2 of the National Survey of Families and Households, we examine how multiple dimensions of nonresident father involvement are associated with different dimensions of child well-being. Father-child relationship quality and responsive fathering are modestly associated with fewer externalizing and internalizing problems among adolescents. The quality of the mother-child relationship, however, has stronger effects on child well-being. Nevertheless, even if adolescents have weak ties to mothers, those who have strong ties to nonresident fathers exhibit fewer internalizing problems and less acting out at school than adolescents who have weak ties to both parents. Adolescents are worst off on a range of outcomes when they have weak ties to both their mothers and nonresident fathers.

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