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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Dion, Robin; Holcomb, Pamela; Zaveri, Heather; D'Angelo, Angela Valdovinos; Clary, Elizabeth; Friend, Daniel; Baumgartner, Scott
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Broad changes in family demographics have left many children without the support or involvement of their fathers. As a result of high rates of nonmarital births and divorce, millions of American children do not live with both of their parents. Rates of nonresidence are particularly high among groups that tend to face more economic challenges: 58 percent of black children and 31 percent of Hispanic children were living without their biological fathers in 2012. Father absence is associated with a range of unfavorable outcomes for children, including poor social-emotional adjustment, dropping out of school, and experiencing mental health problems as adults.

    Research suggests that the negative effects for children of father absence may be mitigated through greater father involvement. Nonresidential fathers’ greater contact with their children is associated with fewer child and adolescent behavior problems. The quality of father-child interaction also appears to matter. Nonresidential fathers’ engagement in child-related activities has been found to be linked to positive social...

    Broad changes in family demographics have left many children without the support or involvement of their fathers. As a result of high rates of nonmarital births and divorce, millions of American children do not live with both of their parents. Rates of nonresidence are particularly high among groups that tend to face more economic challenges: 58 percent of black children and 31 percent of Hispanic children were living without their biological fathers in 2012. Father absence is associated with a range of unfavorable outcomes for children, including poor social-emotional adjustment, dropping out of school, and experiencing mental health problems as adults.

    Research suggests that the negative effects for children of father absence may be mitigated through greater father involvement. Nonresidential fathers’ greater contact with their children is associated with fewer child and adolescent behavior problems. The quality of father-child interaction also appears to matter. Nonresidential fathers’ engagement in child-related activities has been found to be linked to positive social, emotional and behavioral adjustment in children.

    To address these issues, Congress has funded the Responsible Fatherhood (RF) grant program since 2006. The grant program is administered by the Office of Family Assistance at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. RF grants require programs to offer services for fathers in three areas: parenting and fatherhood, economic stability, and healthy marriage and relationships.

    The Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation is studying four RF programs using a rigorous multi-component research design. Conducted by Mathematica Policy Research for the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation at ACF, PACT focuses on three broad areas: fathers’ backgrounds, views, and experiences (qualitative study component), how the programs were implemented (implementation study component), and the programs’ effects on fathers’ outcomes (impact study component). Recognizing that RF programming will continue to grow and evolve, PACT is providing a building block in the evidence base to guide ongoing and future program design and evaluation efforts. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Avellar, Sarah; Moore, Quinn; Patnaik, Ankita; Covington, Reginald ; Wu, April
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    Presented at the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency, these slides summarize impact findings from Mathematica’s evaluation of six Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs. Released under the Parents and Children Together project, this work is part of a growing body of evidence designed to better understand what works in creating healthier families. (Author abstract)

    Presented at the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency, these slides summarize impact findings from Mathematica’s evaluation of six Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs. Released under the Parents and Children Together project, this work is part of a growing body of evidence designed to better understand what works in creating healthier families. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mellgren, Linda; McKay, Tasseli; Landwehr, Justin; Bir, Anupa; Helburn, Amy; Lindquist, Christine; Krieger, Kate
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    A father’s incarceration can represent a serious threat to economic stability for his children and family, yet little is known about earnings and child support payments among justice-involved men over the course of incarceration and release. This brief presents findings on pre- and post-incarceration wages and child support participation in the five impact sites of the Multi-site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting and Partnering (MFS-IP). This analysis matches MFS-IP survey data with state administrative data on wages and child support participation to examine this gap. We find that most of men in the study and their partners were involved with the child support system; the majority had at least one child support case for one or more of their children. And, child support arrears often increased substantially during incarceration. With regard to earnings, the findings suggest that pre- and post-incarceration earnings were not sufficient to avoid poverty. (Author abstract)

    A father’s incarceration can represent a serious threat to economic stability for his children and family, yet little is known about earnings and child support payments among justice-involved men over the course of incarceration and release. This brief presents findings on pre- and post-incarceration wages and child support participation in the five impact sites of the Multi-site Family Study on Incarceration, Parenting and Partnering (MFS-IP). This analysis matches MFS-IP survey data with state administrative data on wages and child support participation to examine this gap. We find that most of men in the study and their partners were involved with the child support system; the majority had at least one child support case for one or more of their children. And, child support arrears often increased substantially during incarceration. With regard to earnings, the findings suggest that pre- and post-incarceration earnings were not sufficient to avoid poverty. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pudasainee-Kapri, Sangita ; Razza, Rachel A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    The present study examined the longitudinal associations among supportive coparenting and father engagement during infancy and mother–child attachment in toddlerhood within an at-risk sample (N = 1371). Of particular interest was whether these associations were moderated by race/ethnicity. Mothers reported on coparenting and father engagement during the 1-year interview and mother–child attachment was assessed using the Toddler Attachment Sort-39 at age three during the in-home visit. Findings suggest that supportive coparenting was significantly associated with higher levels of father engagement and more secure mother–child attachment relationship for both white and minority families. In addition, race/ethnicity moderated the link between supportive coparenting and father engagement such that the link was stronger among white families compared to minority families. Results highlight the significance of coparenting for father engagement and the mother–child attachment relationship. The implications of these findings are discussed for interventions targeting coparenting and...

    The present study examined the longitudinal associations among supportive coparenting and father engagement during infancy and mother–child attachment in toddlerhood within an at-risk sample (N = 1371). Of particular interest was whether these associations were moderated by race/ethnicity. Mothers reported on coparenting and father engagement during the 1-year interview and mother–child attachment was assessed using the Toddler Attachment Sort-39 at age three during the in-home visit. Findings suggest that supportive coparenting was significantly associated with higher levels of father engagement and more secure mother–child attachment relationship for both white and minority families. In addition, race/ethnicity moderated the link between supportive coparenting and father engagement such that the link was stronger among white families compared to minority families. Results highlight the significance of coparenting for father engagement and the mother–child attachment relationship. The implications of these findings are discussed for interventions targeting coparenting and positive paternal engagement among at-risk children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fagan, Jay; Roy, Kevin; Palkovitz, Rob; Farrie, Danielle
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    This article assesses the longitudinal effects of risk and resilience on unmarried nonresident fathers’ engagement with children across the first 3 years of their lives. The authors used a subsample of 549 men from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study who were unmarried and noncohabiting at the time of the child’s birth. They found not only that risk and resilience factors had a direct effect on paternal engagement but also that their association with engagement was mediated by fathers’ continued nonresidence and mother–father relationship quality. Men who leave trajectories of high risk behind during the transition to fatherhood and who have a trajectory characterized by resilience factors are more likely to experience better relationships with the mother of their children, more likely to establish subsequent coresidence with their children, and more likely to remain involved in their children’s lives on a daily basis. Implications for policy and programs serving fathers and families are discussed. (Author abstract)

    This article assesses the longitudinal effects of risk and resilience on unmarried nonresident fathers’ engagement with children across the first 3 years of their lives. The authors used a subsample of 549 men from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study who were unmarried and noncohabiting at the time of the child’s birth. They found not only that risk and resilience factors had a direct effect on paternal engagement but also that their association with engagement was mediated by fathers’ continued nonresidence and mother–father relationship quality. Men who leave trajectories of high risk behind during the transition to fatherhood and who have a trajectory characterized by resilience factors are more likely to experience better relationships with the mother of their children, more likely to establish subsequent coresidence with their children, and more likely to remain involved in their children’s lives on a daily basis. Implications for policy and programs serving fathers and families are discussed. (Author abstract)

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