Describing differences among a sample of low-income fathers: A glimpse into their romantic relationships

Anthony L Chambers*, Karen M. Schmidt, Melvin N. Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    4 Scopus citations


    The primary purpose of this study was to examine the within-group variability that exists among low-income fathers by exploring their relationship with their child's mother. The within-group variability was assessed using item response theory (IRT) methodology. The current study used baseline data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study. A total of 1,025 fathers completed 10 items that addressed common relationship issues. The study found 3 classes of fathers, labeled the ordinary father, the overwhelmed father, and the aggressive father. The study concluded that within-group diversity does exist among young, low-income fathers, and the study provided important insights about the quality of the father-mother relationship. The study also found evidence supporting the use of IRT methodology when examining within-group differences. Limitations and suggestions for future research are also discussed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)144-152
    Number of pages9
    JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2006


    • Couples and relationships
    • Fathers
    • Heterogeneity
    • IRT
    • Low income

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gender Studies
    • Social Psychology
    • Applied Psychology
    • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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