The Father Motive: Predicting the Impact of Father Attitudes on Involvement

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Brigham Young University

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Robbins, Nathan Lovell
Brigham Young University
father involvement; predictors; fathering attitudes; employment hours; relationship quality; maternal gatekeeping; own father history; Family, Life Course, and Society
thesis / dissertation description
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects that a man's attitudes towards fathering have on the level of involvement with his children. Of particular interest was whether fathering attitudes moderated some of the more consistent predictors of involvement, such as relationship quality, maternal gatekeeping, mother's and father's employment hours, a man's history with his own father, family structure, and child characteristics. A sample of 2300 men was used to evaluate the effects of fathering attitudes on engagement and warmth among children ages 2 to 8 and 9 to 11. Results indicate an inconsistent main effect between fathering attitudes and the types of involvement among the two age groups. However, moderated multiple regression analysis revealed that, in many instances, fathering attitudes completely mitigated the effect of several of the traditional predictors of involvement. Among the younger group, men with high fathering attitudes maintained high levels of engagement despite poor history with their own father and high levels of work hours, and engagement increased as maternal employment hours increased. Warmth among these men also remained unchanged at high levels of maternal gatekeeping and low levels of relationship quality. In the older group, high father attitudes mitigated the effects of relationship quality and fathers' work hours on warmth. Attitudes did not moderate engagement among the older group.