The Entrance of Social Fathers Into the Family

Amanda Zagame , Brown University

Under what changing family circumstances and for which child characteristics and situations do social fathers enter the picture? I include males who are not romantic partners of the biological mothers, as little is known about the circumstances under which such fathering arrangements form, whether these father figures serve as substitutes, complements, or both to other present or absent parents, and the long-term effects of such arrangements on children. I use multinomial discrete time models to predict timing and type (related/unrelated, mother’s romantic partner/non-romantic partner, none at all) of father figure entrance among those youths who did not have a father figure present during young adulthood. I consider time-varying individual and family characteristics of the youth as well as contextual variables for the community. This work provides insight into the conditions under which youth identify father figures, for at least some time, with or without the involvement of their mothers.

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 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity