Paternal Self-Efficacy and Father Involvement: A Bi-Directional Relationship

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Abstract

Father involvement is an important contributor to child outcomes, including mental health, prosocial behavior, value systems, and long-term economic and social mobility. The objective of this study was to determine factors most predictive of father involvement. Self-identified fathers (n = 93) with at least 1 child aged 0–18 years, completed an online survey about personal expectations of father involvement and perceptions of one’s own involvement, paternal self-efficacy, coparenting alliance, relationship satisfaction, and partner support for parenting. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that 2 factors predicted greater father involvement: paternal self-efficacy and personal expectations of father involvement. Relationship satisfaction and partner support for fathering were associated with father involvement, but did not remain predictors in the final model. Results indicated that intrinsic personal factors may be more predictive of father involvement than external relationship factors.

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