Using data from the 1987-1988 National Survey of Families and Households, this study examines gender differences in how nonresident parents spend time with their absent children. Whereas nonresident fathers are often perceived as "Disneyland" parents, nonresident mothers are generally considered to be more involved in their children's daily lives. However, results suggest that nonresident mothers and fathers exhibit a similar pattern of participation in activities with their absent children, controlling for sociodemographic and family characteristics. Most nonresident parents either engage in only leisure activities with their children or have no contact. Only about one third of parents mention school among activities they participate in with their child. These findings indicate that nonresident parent-child interaction patterns may be the result of circumstances surrounding the nonresidential role rather than the gender of the parent. (Author abstract).
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