The Causal Effects of Cumulative Father Presence on Children’s Academic Performance: The Role of Behavior Problems

Seulki Kim , University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Tse-Chuan Yang, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

Though the role of father in child development has received a considerable scholarly attention, little is known about whether cumulative father presence has a salient effect on child’s academic performance. Using data from the NLSY79 and the NLSY79CYA from 1986 through 2014 for children between the ages of 7 and 14, the effect of cumulative father presence and potential mechanisms through which cumulative father presence affects children’s academic performance were examined. The multilevel structural equation modeling (MSEM) results suggest that cumulative father presence has a direct and positive effect on children’s academic performance, even after accounting for potential changes in household and maternal characteristics, as well as children’s development over time. The effect of father presence on children’s academic performance is mediated through externalizing behavior problems, but not by internalizing behavior problems.

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 Presented in Session 18. The Role of Father's on Child Well-being