Father_involvement_CHOI_SPJELDNES4.ppt - FIRA- Father Involvement

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					             Father Involvement and
                 Child Outcomes
               in African American
               Nonmarital Families
               Jeong-Kyun Choi, MSW, doctoral student
                  University of California, Los Angeles
                  Solveig Spjeldnes, PhD, MSW, MA
                      Ohio University, Athens, OH


2011-04-12                                                1
Single Black Fathers Portrayed Badly
 • Painted with a broad brush as dead beat dads
 • Many Black fathers despite their challenges are
   “being there” for their kids
 • Some non-resident fathers visit their child daily
 • Some write and call every day from jail
 • Some provide food, clothes, and toys regularly



2011-04-12                                             2
  Marriage as a Goal
 • Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study found that
   at birth half of single, Black mothers live with the
   father.
 • For all races, most say they are romantically involved
   and hope to or plan to marry. More men than women
   reported that they want to marry.
 • After 5 years, only 65% of poor fathers have seen their
   children in the past month.


2011-04-12                                                   3
Fathers as Breadwinners
 • Forty-three percent of Black single-mother families lived
   in poverty in 2006 compared to 30%, 24%, and 43% of
   their white, Asian, and Hispanic counterparts,
   respectively (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007).
 • U.S. policy makers want fathers to pay for their children
   to cut welfare aid.
 • But, little is known about Black nonmarital father-child
   involvement in part because the relationships are
   complex.
 • The present study aims to reduce this gap in the
   research literature.


2011-04-12                                                     4
                                           U.S. Societal Concerns

  Father Absent Homes
• Much literature indicates that children in father absent
  homes are at greater risk for lower educational
  attainment, behavior and mental health problems,
  substance abuse, and delinquency, largely due to
  poverty (McLanahan & Sandafur, 1994).
• Children in father-absent homes are 5 times more likely
  to be poor (U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and
  Characteristics, March 2002, P200-547, Table C8, Washington, DC: GPO, 2003).




   2011-04-12                                                                    5
                                U.S. Societal Concerns

  Nonmarital Birth Rates
• U.S. nonmarital birth rates
  Black 69% White 24.5% (Child Trends, 2006)
  Overall - 1960 - 5.3%
            2004 - 35.7%
• Canadian birth rates (2005)
  Marital - 69%
  Common-law – 22% (11% in Ontario – 46% in Quebec)


  2011-04-12                                          6
                            U.S. Societal Concerns

Children living with a single parent
                         1960     2006
        Black children    22%     56%
        White children     7%    22.5%

 • Canadian children living with a
   single parent – Black - 2001 - 46%
 • All Canadian children - 2006 - 15.9%



2011-04-12                                    7
                                         Father Involvement

 The negative direct and indirect effects of
 father involvement on child wellbeing are well
 established primarily in studies of White families
 as are the exacerbating influences of low income,
 economic hardship, and low maternal education
 (Dearing, McCartney, & Taylor, 2001; Fraser, Kirby, & Smokowski,2004;
    Tamis-LeMonda, Shannon, Cabrera, & Lamb, 2004; Wen, 2008).




2011-04-12                                                           8
                                 Father-child Involvement
                                       in Nonmarital Black Families


Mixed findings
 • Father involvement associated with fewer
   preschool Black child behavior problems and
   better school readiness (Black, Dubowitz, & Starr, 1999;
     Downer & Mendez, 2005; Jackson, 1999; Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2004).

 • For Black (compared to White) children, father
   involvement was associated with more behavior
   problems (King & Heard, 1999).


 2011-04-12                                                         9
                                                 Maternal
                                        Depressive Symptoms



• A large body of literature links maternal
  depressive symptoms with problem outcomes for
  White and Black children (Downey & Coyne, 1990; Jackson,
   Brooks-Gunn, Huang, & Glassman, 2000).




2011-04-12                                              10
                              Maternal Parenting


• Black maternal parenting style was associated
  with child behavior problems, but influenced by
  family risk factors (McGroder, 2000).

• Unstable relationships and partner changes in
  low-income, Black families are associated with
  diminished maternal parenting and child
  problems (Osborne et al., 2004).



2011-04-12                                         11
                                Indirect Relationships


• Perceived maternal financial strain and lower
  maternal education were associated with higher
  maternal depressive symptoms, which was
  directly and indirectly linked through parenting
  quality to child behavior problems (Jackson, Brooks-Gunn,
    Huang, & Glassman, 2000).

• Father involvement associated with better
  maternal mental health and child behavior and
  achievement (Jackson, 1999).

2011-04-12                                              12
                                             Ecological Perspective




             Based on Bronfenbrenner’s (1988) person-process-context model

2011-04-12                                                                   13
                                 Risk and Resilience
                                        Perspective


• Risk factors - Poverty, father absence,
  maternal depressive symptoms & poor
  parenting (Fraser, 2004).

• Protective factors - Economic security,
  father involvement, mentally healthy
  mothers, & nurturing parenting (Fraser, 2004).



 2011-04-12                                        14
                                     Hypothesis
                                         I. Direct Effect


                                         PPVT


              Father’s
             Parenting

                                       Behavioral
                                       Problems


 • H1: Better father’s parenting will be associated
   with less child behavior problems and higher
   language scores.

2011-04-12                                          15
                                        Hypothesis
                                         II. Indirect Effect

                      Depressive
                                              PPVT
                      Symptoms

     Father’s
    Parenting

                       Mother’s            Behavioral
                       Parenting           Problems


• H2: Better father’s parenting will be associated with
  less child behavior problems and higher language
  scores transmitted through less maternal depressive
  symptoms and better mother’s parenting.

2011-04-12                                              16
                                               Method

 • Data source – Wave 1 – 3 data sets from the
   Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study; Sample
   from 75 hospitals in 20 cities across the U.S.

 • Participants – A cohort of 550 Black, single
   mothers who are not married or co-habiting with
   the biological fathers of their child born between
   1998 to 2000 – birth to preschool age

 • Analysis – Structural Equation Modeling using
   Mplus with maximum likelihood estimates

2011-04-12                                              17
                                                 Measures

 • Mother’s Education – (1) Less than high school, (2)
   H.S. diploma, (3) Some college or more.
 • Economic Hardship – 12-item scale (α=.68) for
   financial difficulties including bill payment, loss of
   utilities, hunger, food, residential movement, etc.
 • Maternal Depressive Symptoms – 14-item scale
   (α=.93) for losing interest, feeling tired, trouble sleeping,
   thinking about death, etc.
 • Mother’s Parenting – 8-item scale (α=.68) for playing
   games, reading books, telling stories, showing physical
   affection, etc.


2011-04-12                                                   18
                                                  Measures

 • Father Involvement
        • Father’s Contact with Child – Frequency per month
        • Father’s Child Support Payment - $ amount per month
        • Father’s Parenting – 8-item scale (α=.90) for playing
          games, reading books, telling stories, showing physical
          affection, etc. (Mother’s vs. father’s report)
 • Child Behavior Problems – 65-item scale (α=.92) for
   internal (angry moods, little affection, etc.) and external
   (fights, cry, destruction, etc.) behavioral problems.
 • Language Development (PPVT) - A widely-used
   measure of receptive vocabulary that measures the size
   and range of words that the child understands.


2011-04-12                                                     19
                                                                    Results
                                                    Model I. Mother’s Report

Maternal                           .275**
                                                                         PPVT
Education

                                                                            -.311*
                                                    -.133**
Economic        .237**   M-Depressive                                  Behavioral
Hardship                  Symptoms                                     Problems

                                -.238**
                                                                         -.151*
                           Father’s                     Mother’s
                          Parenting         .308*       Parenting

          Chi-square=15.68 with d.f.=11 (p=.15), RMSEA=.028, CFI=.91
          *p<.05, **p<.01

 2011-04-12                                                                  20
                                                              Results
                                             Model I. Mother’s Report

From                 Through                 To                    Effect

Father’s Parenting    Depressive Symptoms    PPVT                .031*

                      Mother’s Parenting
Father’s Parenting                            PPVT                .013
                      Behavior Problems

Father’s Parenting    Mother’s Parenting     Behavior Problems   -.046+


Economic Hardship     Depressive Symptoms    PPVT                -.032**


Mother’s Parenting    Behavior Problems      PPVT                .047+

+<.01, *p<.05, **p<.01

       2011-04-12                                                         21
                                                                     Results
                                                     Model II. Father’s Report

Maternal                            .276**
                                                                           PPVT
Education

                                                                              -.312*
                                                     -.134**
Economic        .315**   M-Depressive                                  Behavioral
Hardship                  Symptoms                                     Problems

                                  -.286+
                                                                           -.151*
                            Father’s                     Mother’s
                           Parenting         .170+       Parenting

              Chi-square=16.17 with d.f.=11 (p=.14), RMSEA=.029, CFI=.90
              +<.01, *p<.05, **p<.01

 2011-04-12                                                                    22
                                                              Results
                                             Model II. Father’s Report

From                 Through                 To                    Effect

Father’s Parenting    Depressive Symptoms    PPVT                .038

                      Mother’s Parenting
Father’s Parenting                            PPVT                .008
                      Behavior Problems

Father’s Parenting    Mother’s Parenting     Behavior Problems   -.026+


Economic Hardship     Depressive Symptoms    PPVT                -.032**


Mother’s Parenting    Behavior Problems      PPVT                .047+

+p<.10, *p<.05, **p<.01

       2011-04-12                                                         23
                                                Key Results
                                          Importance of the Study

• Direct vs. Indirect Effects
    • Only indirect effects found.
    • Interaction between father involvement and mother’s
      psychological and parenting functioning matters.

• Quality vs. Quantity
    • Quality of father’s parenting matters.
    • Quantity of father’s contact or child support payment does not
      have effects on child outcomes.

• Mother’s vs. Father’s report
    • Overall similar results in this study.
    • Qualitative studies have emphasized father’s report.

  2011-04-12                                                      24
                                                    U.S. Policy
                                   Health Marriage Initiative


• Started in 2002, the Healthy Marriage Initiative
  funds programs to promote healthy marriage,
  father involvement and co-parenting to
  improve child wellbeing [Administration for Children &
   Families (ACF) Press office, 2006, February 8]


• In 2006, TANF reauthorization provided $150
  million per year for 5 years to fund parenting,
  communication, and conflict resolution skills
  & fatherhood program.

 2011-04-12                                                 25
                                                U.S. Program
                                           Parents’ Fair Share

• Targets noncustodial fathers to help them
  provide financial and emotional support for their
  children by increasing child support payments,
  employment and earnings, and parental
  involvement (MDRC, 2008; Miller & Knox, 2001).
• Offers unmarried parents services for education,
  employment, health and mental health issues,
  relationship problems, and domestic violence
   (MDRC, 2008; Doolittle & Lynn, 1998).


2011-04-12                                                26
                                                      U.S. Program
Administration for Children And Families
   • Building Strong Families Pilot Project
     1. Relationship Skills - Psychoeducational
     2. Family Support Services – parenting,
        employment, substance abuse
     3. Family Coordinators – Needs assessment,
       referrals, emotional support, and reinforcement
     4. Reduce Financial Disincentives to Marry
            http://www.buildingstrongfamilies.info/


   2011-04-12                                                  27
                                       Proposed U.S. Policy
Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2007

This legislation would address child support
distribution and arrears management; expand
the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for non
-custodial parents paying child support; and
increase funding for domestic violence
activities in marriage and fatherhood and
employment programs
http://www.clasp.org/publications/responsible_fatherhood_act_of_2007.pdf


 2011-04-12                                                          28
                                     Research &
                                    Policy Issues



• Greater focus on resilient single, Black fathers
  who parent well despite the challenges
• Measures need to be validated for race and
  culture
• Need better measures to analyze complex
  family relations



2011-04-12                                      29
             Thank you


2011-04-12               30

				
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