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National Council on Family Relations

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Indebted relationships: Child support arrears and nonresident fathers' involvement with children

Individual Author: 
Turner, Kimberly J.
Waller, Maureen R.

Low-income, nonresident fathers owe a disproportionate amount of child support arrears, creating potential challenges for these fathers and their family relationships. This article uses mediation analysis to provide new evidence about how and why child support debt is related to paternal involvement using information from 1,017 nonresident fathers in the Fragile Families Study.

Moving beyond fatherhood involvement: The association between father-child relationship quality and youth delinquency trajectories

Individual Author: 
Yoder, Jamie R.
Brisson, Daniel
Lopez, Amy

The effect of nonresidential father relationship characteristics on delinquency trajectories among low-income youth (N = 799) was examined using data from the Three Cities Study, a longitudinal study of mothers and their children eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio. Growth curve models were employed to track delinquency trajectories and their rate of growth.

Family instability, multipartner fertility, and behavior in middle childhood

Individual Author: 
Fomby, Paula
Osborne, Cynthia

Two concepts capture the dynamic and complex nature of contemporary family structure: family instability and multipartner fertility. Although these circumstances are likely to co-occur, their respective literatures have proceeded largely independently. The authors used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 3,062) to consider these dimensions of dynamic family structure together, asking whether they independently predict children's behavior problems at age 9.

Economic circumstances and family outcomes: A review of the 1990s

Individual Author: 
White, Lynn
Rogers, Stacy J.

This review documents the economic context within which American families lived in the 1990s. Despite nearly full employment and growing income and wealth for many Americans, problem areas included persistent racial gaps in economic well-being, growing inequality, and declining wages for young men. Women showed stronger income growth than men in the decade, and 2-earner households became increasingly associated with advantage.

Do children's behavior problems limit poor women's labor market success?

Individual Author: 
Coley, Rebekah Levine
Ribar, David
Votruba-Drzal, Elizabeth

Economically disadvantaged mothers face numerous barriers to stable, quality employment opportunities. One barrier that has received limited attention in previous research is having a child with significant psychological or behavioral problems. Using a representative sample of low-income mothers and early adolescent children from the Three-City Study (N = 717), we assessed whether adolescents' behavior problems prospectively predicted mothers' employment status, consistency, and quality.

Compliance with child support orders in divorce cases

Individual Author: 
Meyer, Daniel R.
Bartfeld, Judi

A study was conducted to examine compliance with child support orders by divorced fathers in Wisconsin between 1981 and 1989. The results revealed that compliance increased as the father's income rose and that the burden of orders did not influence compliance unless the order was for over 35 percent of the father's income. There was no evidence that the strength of family ties was related to the compliance rate, and there was only limited evidence that economic need among the mothers and children resulted in greater compliance.

Understanding grandfamilies: Characteristics of grandparents, nonresident parents, and children

Individual Author: 
Pilkauskas, Natasha V.
Dunifon, Rachel E.

Using data from the Year 9 Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N ~ 3,182), we investigated the characteristics grandfamilies (grandparents raising their grandchildren with no parent present, N = 84) and compared them to other key groups, including children's nonresident parents and other economically disadvantaged families with children. Results show that grandparents raising their grandchildren were generally better off in terms of educational attainment, marital status, and economic well-being than the child's parents.

More kin, less support: Multipartnered fertility and perceived support among mothers

Individual Author: 
Harknett, Kristen
Knab, Jean

Recent research has documented the high prevalence of having children with more than 1 partner, termed multipartnered fertility. Because childbearing is an important mechanism for building kin networks, we theorize that multipartnered fertility will influence the availability of social support for mothers. Analyzing 3 waves of data from the Fragile Families study (N = 12,259), we find that multipartnered fertility is negatively associated with the availability of financial, housing, and child-care support.

Mothers' reports of nonresident fathers' involvement with their children: Revisiting the relationship between child support payment and visitation

Individual Author: 
Huang, Chien-Chung

Nonresident fathers’ financial support and time are both important to children’s well-being, although the association between these two types of involvement is mixed in the literature. Using the 1994 – 2004 waves of the Current Population Survey-Child Support Supplement, this article examined the associations between mothers’ reports of child support payments and visitation. The results indicated that about 36% of nonresident fathers did not visit their children at all, and the distribution of visitation was highly skewed.

Nonresident parents' characteristics and child support

Individual Author: 
Smock, Pamela J.
Manning, Wendy D.

The article presents information on a study which examines the characteristics of nonresident parents in the United States and their child support capabilities. This study uses data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the importance of having information about both parents. Using descriptive statistics as well as an extension of the multivariate models, the study examines whether significant differences exist in levels of child support received and paid, as reported by the resident parent and nonresident parent, respectively.