The Timing of Entry Into Fatherhood in Young, At-Risk Men

J Marriage Fam. 2005 May;67(2):429-447. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-2445.2005.00126.x.


Timing of first fatherhood was examined in a sample of 206 at-risk, predominantly White men, followed prospectively for 17 years. An event history analysis was used to test a model wherein antisocial behavior, the contextual and familial factors that may contribute to the development of antisocial behavior, and common correlates of such behavior, including academic failure, substance use, and early initiation of sexual behaviors, lead both directly and indirectly to an early transition to fatherhood. Having a mother who was younger at first birth, low family SES, poor academic skills, failure to use condoms, and being in a cohabitating or marital relationship predicted entry into fatherhood. Implications of the findings for prevention of and intervention with early fathering are discussed.