Online Program

It Takes a Village: Supportive Strategies That Help Fathers of Children in Multiple Households Stay Involved

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Constance Dallas, RN, PhD, College of Nursing, Department of Health Systems Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Saria Lofton, RN, MSN, School of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, IL
Claire Seryak, MSW, PhD, College of Nursing, Department of Health Systems Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Kristin Hadfield, PhD, College of Nursing, University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago
Jamela Jefferson, BA, College of Nursing, Department of Health Systems Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Background: Positive father involvement, regardless of the father’s residential status, is associated with academic and social emotional competence in children.  Evidence suggests that support may enhance father involvement.   This study utilizes data from a grounded theory study that used the multiple perspective of fatherhood networks to examine paternal involvement of low-income, African American men who fathered children with more than one partner and parented across households. Networks included the father, mothers/primary caregivers,  and whenever possible their parents, current romantic partners, and up to three persons the father identified as influencing his fatherhood role.   

Purpose: This study will use House’ s (1981) social support theory  to examine  similarities and differences in the amount and types of social support provided by 10 paternal and maternal  network members. 

Methods: Each network member was individually interviewed, usually in their homes,  over 1-3 visits using semi-structured interviews.  Interviews were audiotaped and professionally transcribed.  Data were analyzed using  the constant comparative method described by Auerbach & Silversten (2003).

Results: Findings suggest that the amounts and type of emotional, instrumental, informational, and appraisal social support described by House (1981)  differed between paternal and maternal network members as well as between the maternal network members of the first and subsequent partners. 

 Conclusions:  The positive effects of social support on mothers has been well documented in literature. Our findings suggest the usefulness of looking beyond the birth couple relationship to identify additional factors and relationships that may influence father involvement for   multiple partnered fertility fathers.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related nursing
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the context in which fatherhood networks provide social support to African American fathers Compare and contrast the degree and type of social support provided to African American fathers from their fatherhood network

Keyword(s): Men’s Health, Family Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator for two federally funded grants examining paternal involvement of both adult and adolescent African American fathers and utilizing the multiple perspectives of persons who shape his fatherhood role, such as his parents and the mothers of his children. Using qualitative approaches to collect these multiple perspectives provides the opportunity to inform practice and policy of the unique challenges that low-income African American families face in negotiating fatherhood roles.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.