Child and Adolescent Social Work
Race/ethnic differences in the prevalence of and characteristics associated with low support provided by fathers of babies born to pregnant adolescents were examined among 719 adolescent mothers who were interviewed postpartum. Low support was reported by 41.9% of African-American, 26.2% of Mexican-American, and 19.4% of Caucasian adolescent mothers. Across race/ethnic subgroups, fathers who provided limited support were characterized by chronic substance use, gang or police involvement, or partner-directed violence. Policies advocating universal father involvement without concomitant programs designed to address their many needs may ultimately be detrimental to the welfare of mother and child. (Author abstract)
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