Policies, Attitudes, or Individual Characteristics? What Matters More for Nonresident Fathers’ Involvement With Their Children?

Marieke Heers , Swiss Foundation for Research in the Social Sciences (FORS)
Ivett Szalma, HAS Centre for Social Sciences

For many fathers the increase in single parenthood implies that less time is spent with their non-resident children. Meanwhile, across societies, fathers’ involvement in family life and particularly childcare have increased and men’s involvement at home is strongly correlated with gender ideologies. The aim of this research is to examine how individual characteristics, societal roles and ideologies as well as policies affect non-residential father-child contact after parental breakup. This research draws on data from the Generations and Gender Program from 10 countries and relies on data obtained from fathers (n = 1426). Ordered logistic regression is used to study the determinants of father-child contact. Our results indicate that fathers with more modern individual gender ideologies tend to have more contact with their children than fathers with less modern ideologies. Similarly, more modern societal ideologies are associated with higher levels of contact. The results for societal father involvement are mixed.

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 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions