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Fathers’ Involvement with Their Children Before and After Separation

Tina Haux () and Lucinda Platt ()
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Tina Haux: University of Kent
Lucinda Platt: London School of Economics and Political Science

European Journal of Population, 2021, vol. 37, issue 1, No 6, 177 pages

Abstract: Abstract Changes in fathering over the last decades have led to substantially more involvement of fathers in their children’s upbringing. At the same time, high rates of parental separation and subsequent loss of contact fuel concern about separated fathers’ role in their children’s lives. Underlying such concern is the assumption that separation represents a discontinuity in fathers’ parenting. This paper investigates whether fathers’ pre- and post-separation paternal involvement is linked: are fathers with lower levels of contact after separation those who were less involved fathers when co-resident? To answer this question, we draw on a nationally representative UK longitudinal study of children born in 2000–2001 to interrogate the links between fathering before and after separation for 2107 fathers, who separated from their child’s mother before the child was age 11. We show that fathers who were more involved parents prior to separation tend to have more frequent contact after separation, adjusting for other paternal and family characteristics. The size of this association between pre- and post-separation fathering is, however, modest, and even among more involved fathers, intensity of contact declines over time.

Keywords: Fathering; Parental separation; Contact; Nonresidential fathers; UK; Millennium Cohort Study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10680-020-09563-z

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