Unmarried Fathers' Involvement With Their Young Children: The First Year.

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DeKlyen, Michelle.
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This research brief discusses findings from the Fragile Families Study (FFS) on the involvement of unmarried fathers with their babies during the first year. It compares the involvement of fathers in Newark, New Jersey with other unmarried fathers and offers recommendations for programming that would encourage father involvement. Findings from the study indicate 96% of the unmarried fathers in Newark said they wanted to be involved in their children's lives, and that fathers who were older, not born in the United States, were employed, had no children by other partners, had no history of incarceration or violence against the mother, who reported mothers were supportive towards them, or whose partners wanted them to be involved with the child were more likely to live with mothers at the end of the child's first year of life. Fathers who saw their children once a week or more were likely to be older, have no children with other partners, be employed, or have no history of incarceration or violence towards the mother. The study also found fathers with less education, who had no children with other partners, or reported supportive relationships with mothers interacted more frequently with their infants. In addition, the study found unmarried Newark fathers were less likely than those in other cities to live with the mothers of their one-year-old children and visited their children more often than fathers in other cities. Policy implications are discussed. 8 references.

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