Stability and change in paternal involvement among urban African American fathers

Rebekah Levine Coley*, P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


Urban African American fathers' involvement with their children born outside of marriage is assessed through maternal reports. Multivariable composites of paternal involvement indicate that about half of unmarried fathers are highly involved at the time of birth and when children are preschool age, and half are uninvolved. However, nearly 40% of fathers move into or out of active parenting during this time. Multinomial logit analyses indicate that paternal education and employment increase the likelihood that fathers will be highly involved as children age and decrease the odds of a loss of paternal involvement. Strong or harmonious mother-father relations (romantic or not) increase the odds of fathers' being highly involved and mediate the impact of fathers' residential and marital status. Finally, neither new maternal partners nor highly involved grandmothers deter paternal involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-435
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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