Multiple determinants of postdivorce nonresidential fathering
Only recently has attention been directed at understanding the determinants of parental behavior. This study employed an ecological conceptual framework to generate a set of hypotheses concerning divorced fathers' involvement with their nonresident children. Postdivorce fathering was conceptualized and measured multidimensionally, and included frequency of visitation/contact, frequency of extended visits, amount of formal and informal economic contributions as proportions of court-mandated child support, and participation in child-related activities. The explanatory constructs included sociodemographic factors, characteristics of the father, the quality of the interparental relationship, child behavior toward the nonresident father, and role-specific social support. Effects of these multiple determinants were examined in a path analytic framework using data from a nonrandom sample of 104 divorced nonresident fathers recruited from county court records. The results were generally supportive of the hypotheses, although some unexpected findings emerged.^ In general, the results revealed that different sets of determinants were primarily directly related to alternate measures of postdivorce paternal involvement and accounted for significant but differential degrees of explanatory power in the criterion measures. For example, postdivorce fathering as measured by frequency of contact and visitation was predicted by the quality of the interparental relationship, paternal role support received from key network members, and father's income, and accounted for 28% of the variance in visitation frequency. Twenty percent of the variance in fathers' economic contributions was explained by father's annual income and father's beliefs about the importance of their role; the latter was the only psychosocial determinant to contribute a significant degree of predictive power.^ Overall, the results document that a divorced father's actual ongoing involvement with his nonresident child is influenced by forces both within and external to the divorced family as well as personal characteristics and financial resources. The implications of these findings for understanding the diversity in postdivorce fathering and for conceptualizing interventions and social policy are discussed. ^
Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Anthony Joseph Giuliano,
"Multiple determinants of postdivorce nonresidential fathering"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).