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01-12-2012 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 12/2012

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 12/2012

Parenting of Divorced Fathers and the Association with Children’s Self-Esteem

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 12/2012
Auteurs:
Kim Bastaits, Koen Ponnet, Dimitri Mortelmans

Abstract

Research suggests that high parental support and control improves children’s well-being. However, a large part of these studies have focused on the parenting of married parents. Research on parenting after a divorce, mainly has focused on parenting of divorced mothers, with few exceptions concentrating primarily on non-residential fathers. Therefore, we compared both parenting dimensions support and control of fathers in different family structures (non-residential fathers, fathers in joint custody and married fathers). We also investigated the association between fathers’ parenting dimensions and children’s self-esteem, controlled for the parenting dimensions of the mother. Data from 587 children (50 % girls) between 10 and 18 years old and their parents were examined. Results revealed that non-residential fathers (n = 225) were less supportive and controlling than fathers in joint custody (n = 138) and married fathers (n = 224). Nevertheless, having a supportive father was beneficial to children’s self-esteem in each family structure. We conclude that, even after a divorce, fathers have the capacity to enhance children’s self-esteem and we suggest that future research should investigate this capacity.

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