Until recently, fathers have been underexamined relative to mothers in research on parenting. Fathers in poverty, as well as stepfathers and nonresidential fathers, have been a particularly understudied group. This study explores Head Start fathers' involvement with their children. Fathers are defined to include stepfathers as well as nonresidential fathers. Seventy-eight mothers have been interviewed about fathers' involvement with their children. Mothers generally perceive a modest extent of fathers' involvement but also report high levels of children's satisfaction with fathers' emotional support. Mothers generally report a higher extent of involvement for residential fathers than for nonresidential fathers and report higher levels of interaction for stepfathers than for biological fathers. Mothers consistently report that both residential biological fathers and residential stepfathers are more involved than nonresidential biological fathers. The findings suggest the importance of continuing to gather data that looks at both residential and nonresidential fathers as well as biological fathers and stepfathers.
- Father involvement
- Head Start
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)