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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: Threlfall, Jennifer M.; Kohl, Patricia L.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    This qualitative study explores the views that low-income fathers and fatherhood service providers have of the child support system and how these perceptions shape the provision of and men's engagement in fatherhood services. Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with 36 fathers, and telephone interviews with 19 fatherhood service providers. Four themes emerged about perceptions of the child support system: imposing unrealistic financial demands, criminalizing low-income men, discounting paternal viewpoints, and evidencing responsible parenting. A further four themes were concerned with the relationship between the child support system and fatherhood programs: hindering wider service utilization, encouraging engagement, educating and advocating, and reframing child support. Overall the findings suggest that though child support obligations can place a substantial financial and psychological burden on low-income men, fatherhood programs have a valuable role to play in supporting noncustodial fathers in paying child support as one part of their wider paternal role...

    This qualitative study explores the views that low-income fathers and fatherhood service providers have of the child support system and how these perceptions shape the provision of and men's engagement in fatherhood services. Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with 36 fathers, and telephone interviews with 19 fatherhood service providers. Four themes emerged about perceptions of the child support system: imposing unrealistic financial demands, criminalizing low-income men, discounting paternal viewpoints, and evidencing responsible parenting. A further four themes were concerned with the relationship between the child support system and fatherhood programs: hindering wider service utilization, encouraging engagement, educating and advocating, and reframing child support. Overall the findings suggest that though child support obligations can place a substantial financial and psychological burden on low-income men, fatherhood programs have a valuable role to play in supporting noncustodial fathers in paying child support as one part of their wider paternal role. (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: Coates, Erica E.; Phares, Vicky
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    This study examined the factors associated with higher levels of paternal involvement among nonresidential, Black fathers from low-income neighborhoods. Participants were 110 fathers of children up to the age of 10. Participants completed psychometrically sound measures of social support, religiosity, family-of-origin father closeness, coparenting relationship quality, psychological well-being, conviction history since the birth of the child, and paternal involvement. A simultaneous multiple regression indicated that better psychological well-being and coparenting relationship quality and lower conviction rates since the birth of the child were associated significantly with higher levels of paternal involvement when controlling for sociodemographic variables. Results of a mediational analysis revealed that coparenting relationship quality mediated the relationship of both psychological well-being and paternal involvement and conviction history since the birth of the child and paternal involvement. Results of a hierarchical regression showed that social support moderated the...

    This study examined the factors associated with higher levels of paternal involvement among nonresidential, Black fathers from low-income neighborhoods. Participants were 110 fathers of children up to the age of 10. Participants completed psychometrically sound measures of social support, religiosity, family-of-origin father closeness, coparenting relationship quality, psychological well-being, conviction history since the birth of the child, and paternal involvement. A simultaneous multiple regression indicated that better psychological well-being and coparenting relationship quality and lower conviction rates since the birth of the child were associated significantly with higher levels of paternal involvement when controlling for sociodemographic variables. Results of a mediational analysis revealed that coparenting relationship quality mediated the relationship of both psychological well-being and paternal involvement and conviction history since the birth of the child and paternal involvement. Results of a hierarchical regression showed that social support moderated the relationship between psychological well-being and paternal involvement when controlling for statistically relevant sociodemographic variables. This study provided evidence that several father and coparental factors were related to high levels of paternal involvement and illustrated the importance of examining disadvantaged fathers’ strengths as targets for future interventions. Psychologists, social workers, program directors, and other individuals working with nonresidential, Black fathers from low-income neighborhoods should educate their clients on the factors associated with higher levels of paternal involvement as well as provide necessary resources to facilitate father involvement with children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Stahlschmidt, Mary Jo; Threlfall, Jennifer; Seay, Kristen D.; Lewis, Ericka M.; Kohl, Patricia L.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    The benefits of high-quality father–child relationships for fathers and children alike are well documented. While evidence suggests parenting programs can improve the quality of father–child relationships, few fathers participate in such programs. This qualitative study aims to fill the gap in knowledge on best practices for recruiting urban African American fathers, a group of fathers with unique parenting challenges, to parenting programs. Focus groups were conducted with 29 fathers to gain their perspectives on recruitment strategies. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with a nationwide sample of 19 fatherhood program providers to learn about their most successful recruitment strategies. Recruitment strategies based on emergent themes from the focus groups and interviews are presented here. Themes included using word-of-mouth recruitment, increasing advertising, targeting advertising specifically to urban African American fathers, providing transportation and incentives, recruiting through the courts, collaborating with other community agencies, and offering...

    The benefits of high-quality father–child relationships for fathers and children alike are well documented. While evidence suggests parenting programs can improve the quality of father–child relationships, few fathers participate in such programs. This qualitative study aims to fill the gap in knowledge on best practices for recruiting urban African American fathers, a group of fathers with unique parenting challenges, to parenting programs. Focus groups were conducted with 29 fathers to gain their perspectives on recruitment strategies. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with a nationwide sample of 19 fatherhood program providers to learn about their most successful recruitment strategies. Recruitment strategies based on emergent themes from the focus groups and interviews are presented here. Themes included using word-of-mouth recruitment, increasing advertising, targeting advertising specifically to urban African American fathers, providing transportation and incentives, recruiting through the courts, collaborating with other community agencies, and offering parenting programming along with other programming valued by fathers such as employment assistance. Implications for developing strategies for recruiting urban African American fathers to parenting programs are discussed. (author abstract)

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