Conflict, Cooperation or Disengagement? Coparenting Patterns and Father Involvement in Fragile Families

Maureen Waller, Cornell University

This paper draws on information from the Fragile Families Survey, and qualitative interviews I conducted with a sub-sample of parents who participated in the study, to gain a more complete understanding of early coparenting patterns and how they are related to unmarried men’s involvement with children. Regression results show that romantically involved fathers were significantly more likely to participate in activities with their three year old children when they had cooperative, disengaged, or mixed coparenting alliances with the mother rather than engaging in conflicted coparenting. However, disengaged, or parallel coparenting, was not associated with increased paternal involvement when parents had ended their romantic relationships. The qualitative analysis provides further insight into these coparenting patterns and both their expected and unexpected associations with paternal involvement.

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Presented in Session 180: Fathers and Their Children