Journal of Family Psychology
The current study used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort (ECLS-B; Snow et al., 2007) to explore determinants of resident father involvement. Families (N = 2,900) were measured at 3 time points (9 months, 2 years, and 4 years of age). Father, mother, and child factors were examined in relation to father caregiving and play. Latent change score models indicated that fathers engaged in more caregiving and play behaviors and increased at a faster rate when they more strongly identified with their role as a father. Fathers engaged in more caregiving when mothers reported higher depressive symptoms and increased in play more slowly when marital conflict was higher. In addition, a Mother Depressive Symptoms × Marital Conflict interaction emerged indicating that fathers differed in their levels of caregiving depending on mothers’ report of depressive symptoms, but only when marital conflict was low. Fathers also increased in caregiving at a faster rate with girls than boys. A comprehensive framework for examining resident father involvement is presented. (Author abstract)
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