Fathers’ Involvement With Their Children

A new NCHS report measures fathers’ involvement with their children. Father involvement is measured by how often a man participated in a set of activities in the last 4 weeks with children who were living with him and with children who were living apart from him. Involvement is measured separately for children aged 0–4 years and children aged 5–18 years. Increased involvement of fathers in their children’s lives has been associated with a range of positive outcomes for the children.

13820_loresKey Findings from the Report:

  • In 2006–2010, about 38% (23.5 million) of men aged 15–44 were living with one or more children, and about 12% (7.5 million) were living apart from one or more of their biological or adopted children.
  • Non-Hispanic white men aged 15–44 had the largest difference between those with coresidential children (37%) and those with noncoresidential children (8.2%). The difference was smallest among non-Hispanic black men, with 33% having coresidential children and 24% having noncoresidential children. Among Hispanic men, more than twice as many had coresidential children (44%) than had noncoresidential children (18%).
  • In general and as expected, a higher percentage of fathers aged 15–44 who lived with their children under age 5 participated in activities with their children more frequently than fathers who lived apart from their children. Similarly, fathers with noncoresidential children were more likely to not have done the activity at all in the last 4 weeks compared with fathers with coresidential children. The magnitude of the differences between coresidential and noncoresidential fathers varied by activity. Differences also were seen by demographic characteristics within groups of coresidential and noncoresidential fathers.

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