Paternal involvement with adolescents in intact families: the influence of fathers over the life course

Demography. 1998 May;35(2):201-16.


We measure the quality and quantity of fathers' involvement with adolescent children in intact families over time using longitudinal data from The National Survey of Children. We examine differentials in fathers' involvement by children's and family characteristics and model the long-term effects of fathers' involvement on children's outcomes in the transition to adulthood. Fathers are more involved with sons than with daughters and they disengage from adolescents with increasing marital conflict. We find beneficial effects for children of father's involvement in three domains: educational and economic attainment, delinquent behavior, and psychological well-being. The course of affective relations throughout adolescence also has a beneficial effect on delinquent behavior and psychological well-being.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Family Characteristics
  • Father-Child Relations*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / prevention & control
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Personality Development*
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support