African-American Fathering of Young Children in Violent Neighborhoods : Paternal Protective Strategies and Their Predictors.

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Letiecq, Bethany L.
Koblinsky, Sally A.
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Journal Article
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Using an ecological framework, this study investigated African-American fathers' use of five protective strategies to keep their preschool children safe from community violence. Father, child, and contextual predictors of fathers' protective strategies were also examined. In-depth interviews with 61 African-American Head Start fathers and father figures revealed that participants were most likely to adopt the strategy of monitoring and teaching personal safety, followed by teaching neighborhood survival tactics, reducing exposure to violent media, engaging in community activism, and instructing children to fight back. Overall, parenting practices, social support, and psychological functioning were the best predictors of these strategies, with one exception. Child's gender was the best predictor of the strategy "reduce exposure to violent media," with fathers of sons more likely to limit such exposure. Implications of these findings for researchers and practitioners are discussed. (Author abstract).

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