Coparenting relationship quality and father involvement are closely linked but few studies have investigated this relationship using samples of socioeconomically disadvantaged families. The current study used family systems theory to examine the longitudinal and bidirectional relations between coparenting relationship quality and father engagement in caregiving and play, using a large and racially diverse sample of low-income residential and nonresidential fathers in the Building Strong Families project (N = 1,908). Structural equation modeling tested cross-lagged relations between couple-level coparenting and father engagement at two time points for both residential and nonresidential father families. For residential fathers, positive coparenting at 15 months predicted father engagement in caregiving at 36 months. There was no support for a bidirectional or unidirectional model between coparenting and father engagement in play for either residential or nonresidential fathers. There were significant concurrent relations between coparenting and father engagement in caregiving and play for both residential and nonresidential fathers, providing support for positive spillover in line with family systems theory. Info Only.
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