Journal of Marriage and Family
Data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth were employed to explore the association between boomerang fathering from birth to age 18 on adolescent depressive symptomatology (N = 3,731). We examined the effects of experiencing a biological father exiting and entering the home because of breaking up and repartnering with an adolescent's mother (i.e., “boomerang fathering”) when compared with other father residential patterns on adolescent depression. Findings suggest that boomerang fathering is more beneficial than harmful. Adolescent females exposed to boomerang fathering, as well as those exposed to fathers who resided with them from birth to age 18, reported significantly lower depressive symptoms when compared with females exposed to fathers who exited the household and never returned. Boomerang fathering was not significantly associated with male adolescent depressive symptomatology. Providing greater family support during times of instability may assist in unifying families and be an indirect source of mental health prevention. (Author abstract)
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