Using data from the Fragile Families study, this paper explores factors that influence paternal involvement in low-income families. 4873 fathers from the Fragile Families study were classified using CART (Classification and Regression Tree Analysis). CART is a nonparametric technique that allows many different factors to be combined in order to classify homogeneous subgroups within a sample. The CART analysis distinguished between residential and non-residential fathers. In addition, among residential fathers, race emerged as the distinguishing factor. For White men, residential status was the only factor to affect involvement. For African American and Hispanic men however, interactions among several sociodemographic characteristics revealed that both contextual and individual factors affect paternal involvement. Results suggest that an ecological approach is necessary in the investigation of paternal involvement. (Author abstract)
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