This factsheet explores the relationship between men's prenatal involvement and the quantity and quality of fathers' involvement with their children and partners following the birth. Research is cited that indicates men who are involved with their partners during pregnancy and around the time of birth are likely to exhibit higher levels and quality of involvement with their children following birth. In addition, prenatal involvement may hold benefits for fathers themselves. Studies suggest: fathers' prenatal involvement is significantly related to a higher quantity of involvement following the child's birth; men who are involved prenatally exhibit more positive postbirth fathering behaviors; nonresident fathers who were involved with their children before birth are more likely to remain involved in their children's lives; men who are involved with their partners and children prior to the child's birth may develop more positive perceptions of their roles and identities as fathers; prenatal involvement is associated with more stable and positive relationships with one's partner; high levels of fathers' prenatal involvement have been found to be associated with better employment outcomes for fathers; and fathers who are prenatally involved may also decrease their involvement with risky behaviors. Data is shared from Child Trends analyses of data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) 9-month, 24-month, and 48-month surveys on differences in fathers' prenatal involvement by age and race. The ECLS-B includes 10,688 children and their caregivers, and it follows these children from infancy until the time that they enter first grade. 2 figures, 3 tables, and 18 references.
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