Child Disability and Paternal Involvement: An Examination of Nonresidential Father-Child Engagement and Financial Support among Children with Disability

Maryhelen D. MacInnes, Michigan State University
Carrie E. Spearin, Brown University

This study explores the impact of child disability on the level of engagement between nonresidential fathers and their children. Estimates suggest that a considerable proportion of children under the age of 18 in the United States (approximately 12%) have a disabling condition. Moreover, father-child relationships are immensely significant to the well-being of children both in the short and long-run. Yet despite the significance of this relationship, few studies have explored whether this relationship is affected by the disability status of the child. Using data from wave 1 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we explore whether nonresidential fathers' payment of child support and contact with their children are affected by their children's disability status. Additionally, we investigate the joint effect of child disability and support payments on the level of engagement.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 2