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Dev Psychol. 2009 Sep;45(5):1389-405. doi: 10.1037/a0015210.

Pathways to paternal engagement: longitudinal effects of risk and resilience on nonresident fathers.

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School of Social Administration, Temple University, Ritter Hall Annex, 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA.


This article assesses the longitudinal effects of risk and resilience on unmarried nonresident fathers' engagement with children across the first 3 years of their lives. The authors used a subsample of 549 men from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study who were unmarried and noncohabiting at the time of the child's birth. They found not only that risk and resilience factors had a direct effect on paternal engagement but also that their association with engagement was mediated by fathers' continued nonresidence and mother-father relationship quality. Men who leave trajectories of high risk behind during the transition to fatherhood and who have a trajectory characterized by resilience factors are more likely to experience better relationships with the mother of their children, more likely to establish subsequent coresidence with their children, and more likely to remain involved in their children's lives on a daily basis. Implications for policy and programs serving fathers and families are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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