Estimating Nonresident Fatherhood: Evidence from the CPS, NSFG, and SIPP.

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Stykes, J. Bart.
Manning, Wendy D.
Brown, Susan L.
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National Center for Family and Marriage Research.
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The underestimation of the presence of nonresident fathers is discussed and findings from a study that investigated the ability of household surveys to identify nonresident fathers are shared. Using data from the 2011 Current Population Survey (CPS) March Supplement, the Wave 4 Poverty Topical Module from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) panel, and the 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), the study compared estimates of nonresident fathers and considered the socioeconomic characteristics of nonresident fathers identified in these surveys. Results demonstrated the NSFG produced higher estimates of nonresident fatherhood whereas both the CPS and SIPP produced lower estimates of nonresident fatherhood. Further, the types of nonresident fathers identified in these surveys differed. In general, larger shares of nonresident fathers in the NSFG belonged to a minority racial/ethnic group and reported lower educational attainment than nonresident fathers identified in the CPS and SIPP. The study found that direct reports from individual men (as opposed to the householder) produced higher population estimates of nonresident fathers. Sampling and questionnaire effects that might explain the differences in estimates are examined. 4 tables and 41 references. (Author abstract modified)

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