The Evidence Base: Predictors of Father Involvement

The Evidence Base: Predictors of Father Involvement

A positive co-parenting relationship with their child’s mother is strongly associated with both the quantity and quality of father involvement.1,2  When mothers support fathers’ relationships with their children and parents can cooperate with and support one another in raising their child, fathers see their children more, engage in more activities with them, and have more positive relationships with them.3,4,5 The quality of parents’ relationships also matter: mothers who have positive relationships with their children’s fathers are more likely to have positive co-parenting relationships with them.6 As a result, fathers who are in romantic relationships with their children’s mothers are consistently more likely to be involved with their children7,8 and to have higher-quality involvement9 than fathers who have no relationship with their children’s mothers.10

Fathers’ parenting skills and confidence are important predictors of father involvement. When fathers feel competent11 and believe that they can parent well,12 they spend more time with their children, take on more caretaking responsibilities, and engage more positively with their children.13,14  Increasing the amount of time they spend with their children allows fathers to build more parenting skills and efficacy;15,16 in turn, having parenting skills and efficacy is linked to increased involvement.17 

Last updated on August 13, 2018, 3:47 pm