Journal of Child and Family Studies (Online First Publication)
Models that incorporate environmental and contextual influences on parenting offer a promising perspective for understanding fathering. The goal of the present study was to examine the influences of religion on fathers’ roles in the family system, and it addressed two questions: Do specific measures of religion better predict father involvement than global measures? Does religiosity predict levels of father involvement and/or the quality of father–child relationships after accounting for their personality and marital quality? One hundred seventy-four fathers and their 8–14 year old children completed measures of the quantity and quality of fathers’ parenting, religious lives, personality and marital quality. Results indicated that more specific measures of religion were better predictors of father–child relationships than global measures. Fathers who viewed parenting as a sanctified role and identified religion as a source of support were more involved in their children’s lives, even after accounting for their personality and marital quality. These findings call for further research to better understand the interrelations among individual, family, and contextual factors that shape fathers’ involvement in parenting. (Author abstract)
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