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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: Anderson, Elaine A.; Kohler, Julie K. ; Letiecq, Bethany L.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    The authors present the voices of 20 low-income fathers, all participants in a Responsible Fatherhood (RF) program in a large urban area. A hermeneutic phenomenological methodology was used to document participants’ memories of becoming fathers, explain participants’ perceptions of the benefits and the barriers to remaining involved with the program, and share participants’ suggestions for program improvement. The results provide a preliminary evaluation of the program’s services, and we discuss how these findings are helpful to future programmatic and policy initiatives. (author abstract).

    The authors present the voices of 20 low-income fathers, all participants in a Responsible Fatherhood (RF) program in a large urban area. A hermeneutic phenomenological methodology was used to document participants’ memories of becoming fathers, explain participants’ perceptions of the benefits and the barriers to remaining involved with the program, and share participants’ suggestions for program improvement. The results provide a preliminary evaluation of the program’s services, and we discuss how these findings are helpful to future programmatic and policy initiatives. (author abstract).

  • Individual Author: Gilkman, Helen
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    Although teenage pregnancy is at the center of much current social concern and political debate, the focus tends to be on the young mothers and their children. The lives and parenting experiences of young fathers typically receive less attention from researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. This article presents findings from a qualitative research study of 25 low-income young fathers. Young men were asked questions about their own life experiences and social contexts, their connections with their children and female partners, and the implications these had for sense of self. They were interviewed again one year later. The majority of young fathers were found to be involved significantly in the lives of their children, despite their own struggles. This in turn helped them feel positive about their sense of self. Implications for social policy and programs are discussed. (author abstract)

    Although teenage pregnancy is at the center of much current social concern and political debate, the focus tends to be on the young mothers and their children. The lives and parenting experiences of young fathers typically receive less attention from researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. This article presents findings from a qualitative research study of 25 low-income young fathers. Young men were asked questions about their own life experiences and social contexts, their connections with their children and female partners, and the implications these had for sense of self. They were interviewed again one year later. The majority of young fathers were found to be involved significantly in the lives of their children, despite their own struggles. This in turn helped them feel positive about their sense of self. Implications for social policy and programs are discussed. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Roy, Kevin M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    Using life history interviews with 40 noncustodial fathers in Chicago and 37 incarcerated fathers in Indiana, I explore the construction of paternal provider roles in low-income and working-class families. Fathers with stable jobs retained high expectations for providing but found that employment could limit and even harm paternal involvement. Underemployed fathers, or fathers out of work, lowered expectations for providing and crafted a version of involvement that was more than just providing. The study suggests that a focus on context and process can expand theoretical frameworks of work/family decisions for non-middle class families. Implications for policies include increasing opportunities for fathers to attain stable employment and restructuring work/family policies to alter expectations for men's success as providers. (author abstract)

    Using life history interviews with 40 noncustodial fathers in Chicago and 37 incarcerated fathers in Indiana, I explore the construction of paternal provider roles in low-income and working-class families. Fathers with stable jobs retained high expectations for providing but found that employment could limit and even harm paternal involvement. Underemployed fathers, or fathers out of work, lowered expectations for providing and crafted a version of involvement that was more than just providing. The study suggests that a focus on context and process can expand theoretical frameworks of work/family decisions for non-middle class families. Implications for policies include increasing opportunities for fathers to attain stable employment and restructuring work/family policies to alter expectations for men's success as providers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Murphy, Jane C.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    This Article analyzes the issue of paternity disestablishment, an issue courts and legislatures have been struggling with over the last several years. For a variety of reasons explored in this Article, an increasing number of fathers have filed requests to set aside paternity orders seeking to be relieved of the legal obligations of fatherhood. As a result families have been destabilized and children are becoming fatherless. The implications for the future of the family are profound. Although some scholars have examined this phenomenon, none have addressed the link between paternity disestablishment and welfare reform.

    This Article explores the law's evolving definition of fatherhood and concludes that the law's response to the paternity disestablishment crisis threatens to impose a narrow definition of fatherhood based on biology. This new definition of fatherhood has not developed to serve any of the traditional goals of family law, protecting children and preserving family stability. Rather, this trend appears to be one of the unintended consequences of two decades of...

    This Article analyzes the issue of paternity disestablishment, an issue courts and legislatures have been struggling with over the last several years. For a variety of reasons explored in this Article, an increasing number of fathers have filed requests to set aside paternity orders seeking to be relieved of the legal obligations of fatherhood. As a result families have been destabilized and children are becoming fatherless. The implications for the future of the family are profound. Although some scholars have examined this phenomenon, none have addressed the link between paternity disestablishment and welfare reform.

    This Article explores the law's evolving definition of fatherhood and concludes that the law's response to the paternity disestablishment crisis threatens to impose a narrow definition of fatherhood based on biology. This new definition of fatherhood has not developed to serve any of the traditional goals of family law, protecting children and preserving family stability. Rather, this trend appears to be one of the unintended consequences of two decades of federal and state policy designed to reform the nation's welfare system. The broad goals of these policies may be well founded. But modern child support enforcement policy, so central to welfare reform and aimed most aggressively against low income fathers, is pushing fathers to seek disestablishment of paternity. In response, courts and legislatures are reinstating a construct of paternal functions defined in economic terms and grounded in biology. This new definition of fatherhood ignores other bases for fatherhood based on marriage, care taking or both. As a result, the state's interests in collecting child support, protecting children and preserving families are undermined by the very laws that should protect those interests. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Chaplin, Shane S.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2012

    Over the last few decades, increasing rates of single mother households in the United States have triggered a national alarm over the effects of father absence on society. Father absence has been linked specifically to many of the problems plaguing black communities in the United States (e.g. poverty, low educational attainment, etc.) and as a result community and political leaders alike have consistently promoted responsible fatherhood practices as a way to address them. Although responsible fatherhood has received, in this context, a considerable amount of social attention, this attention has come intertwined with considerable political and moral rhetoric at all levels, making an idea invested with a wide variety of often-conflicting meanings and interests.

    Given the paucity of academic studies giving voice to black fathers at the metaphoric "front line" of the national responsible fatherhood effort, this author used a variation of The Listening Guide (Gilligan 2003) to capture the narratives of four black fathers volunteering in a local responsible fatherhood program....

    Over the last few decades, increasing rates of single mother households in the United States have triggered a national alarm over the effects of father absence on society. Father absence has been linked specifically to many of the problems plaguing black communities in the United States (e.g. poverty, low educational attainment, etc.) and as a result community and political leaders alike have consistently promoted responsible fatherhood practices as a way to address them. Although responsible fatherhood has received, in this context, a considerable amount of social attention, this attention has come intertwined with considerable political and moral rhetoric at all levels, making an idea invested with a wide variety of often-conflicting meanings and interests.

    Given the paucity of academic studies giving voice to black fathers at the metaphoric "front line" of the national responsible fatherhood effort, this author used a variation of The Listening Guide (Gilligan 2003) to capture the narratives of four black fathers volunteering in a local responsible fatherhood program. Critical Social Representations Theory was used to frame the interaction between participants and the social contexts within which they are embedded, paying particular attention to participants' positioning in regard to social representations of race and gender. The widely different understandings of fatherhood present within the results point to fatherhood as a highly dynamic concept. Responsibility, on the other hand, was understood primarily as father presence, a middle class ideal that I argue is problematic given the realities of poor black fathers. Finally, all fathers tended to resist ideas of race as essence, even if in regard to gender all fathers adopted hegemonic positions endorsing views of gender difference as essential and as grounded in biology. Overall, results reveal complex portrayals of black fathers and their lives in communities where race, poverty, incarceration, drugs, violence, or family court all pose additional challenges to responsible fatherhood. (author abstract)

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