The Reproduction of Fatherhood: A Cautionary Tale

Fran Goldscheider, Brown University
Sandra Hofferth, University of Maryland

The transition to fatherhood is likely influenced by family structures and transitions experienced in childhood. In order to understand and alleviate the effects of childhood family structure, it is also important to examine the effects of economic deprivation, parenting processes, and adolescent behavior on this transition. This paper focuses on how family structure and processes shape the transition to problematic fatherhood—early and particularly nonresidential—among a relatively disadvantaged group of young men. The data come from the linked Child-Mother and Young Adult Samples of the NLSY79, which provide information on the children of the women of the NLSY79 from birth until they enter young adulthood. The results suggest that males growing up with a single parent or in an unstable family transition to fatherhood early, particularly nonresidential fatherhood, but these effects are mediated by economic deprivation, parenting processes, and adolescent behaviors.

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Presented in Poster Session 2