Non-Residential Father's Involvement and Single Mother's Mental Health

Juanita Chinn, University of Texas at Austin
Andrea K. Henderson, University of Texas at Austin

There has been a substantial increase in nonmarital fertility in the U.S. over the last 50 years. With 90% of women serving as the resident parent in single family households, a growing body of work has begun to explore the effects of nonmarital birth on mother’s health. These results suggest that single mothers are at greater risk for psychological distress. However, few empirical studies have examined the role of father’s involvement on mother’s mental health. We will contribute to the gap is this literature by examining several distinct aspects of father’s involvement and its effects on single mother’s mental health using data from the Welfare, Children and Families: A Three City Study. Additionally, we will analyze these data to explore the effects of father’s involvement using both the mother’s reports of father involvement and father’s self reports. We will conclude with implications for family policy and directions for future research.

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Presented in Poster Session 7