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23-03-2019 | Review Paper

Pathways Linking Nonresident Father Involvement and Child Outcomes

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Auteurs:
Erica E. Coates, Vicky Phares
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Objectives

Although previous studies have found small effects of nonresident father involvement on child outcomes, the mechanisms linking nonresident father involvement to child outcomes is understudied.

Methods

This review examines the maternal processes that link nonresident father involvement to children’s development. We reviewed ten longitudinal mediational studies that examined the indirect associations between nonresident father involvement and child outcomes. All of the studies reviewed included samples comprised of predominantly Black mothers with young children.

Results

Using ecological models, researchers found that maternal factors, including maternal parenting, maternal parenting stress, and maternal depression, mediate the relationships between nonresident father involvement and child outcomes. Maternal parenting has also been found to mediate the influence of both maternal parenting stress and maternal depression on child outcomes. Of the longitudinal mediational models reviewed, limited studies found support for the direct relationship between nonresident father involvement and child outcomes.

Conclusions

We propose a conceptual model for explaining the indirect relationship between nonresident father involvement and children’s developmental outcomes. The model delineates the role of maternal parenting, maternal parenting stress, and maternal depression as mediators in the relationship between nonresident father involvement and child outcomes. The conceptual model extends previously tested models by highlighting the central process of maternal parenting to child outcomes as influenced by nonresident father involvement transmitted through maternal parenting stress and maternal depression. Implications for future research on the role of nonresidential fathers in children’s development and interventions for increasing nonresidential father involvement are provided.

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