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Child Dev. 2017 Mar;88(2):398-407. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12744. Epub 2017 Feb 1.

Enhancing Father Involvement in Low-Income Families: A Couples Group Approach to Preventive Intervention.

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Smith College School for Social Work.
Yale University School of Medicine.
University of California, Berkeley.


To address the problem of fathers' absence from children's lives and the difficulty of paternal engagement, especially among lower income families, government agencies have given increasing attention to funding father involvement interventions. Few of these interventions have yielded promising results. Father involvement research that focuses on the couple/coparenting relationship offers a pathway to support fathers' involvement while strengthening family relationships. Relevant research is reviewed and an exemplar is provided in the Supporting Father Involvement intervention and its positive effects on parental and parent-child relationships and children's outcomes. The article concludes with policy implications of this choice of target populations and the need to develop new strategies to involve fathers in the lives of their children.

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