This paper analyzes data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine a sample of urban fathers, a majority of whom were unwed at the time of their child's birth. Integrating research on race/ethnicity, poverty, family, work, and crime, this study explores how fathers' participation in regular work, underground employment, and illicit hustles is related to engagement with their children; it also investigates how these relationships vary by race. The results show that the more time fathers spend in illegal hustling, the less engaged they are with their children. In contrast, time spent working in the formal economy has a positive effect on father engagement. Importantly, the effects of work on father engagement vary by race/ethnicity. The positive relationship between fathers' participation in regular work and engagement with children is even greater for African Americans than whites. In addition, underground work has a more positive association with father engagement for African American fathers than white fathers. Finally, hustling has a more negative effect on engagement among African American fathers than among Latino fathers.(Author abstract)
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