Father residence and adolescent problem behavior: Are youth always better off in two-parent families?

Alan Booth, Mindy E. Scott, Valarie King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine combinations of father residence and closeness, which have received minimal examination but involve significant numbers of children. The findings lead to a number of conclusions. First, adolescents who are close to their nonresident fathers report higher self-esteem, less delinquency, and fewer depressive symptoms than adolescents who live with a father with whom they are not close. Second, adolescents living with a father with whom they are not close have better grades and engage in and less substance use than those having a nonresident father who is not close. At the same time, however, not being close to a resident father is associated with lower self-esteem compared to having a nonresident father who is not close. Third, adolescents do best of all when they have close ties to resident fathers. A central conclusion of this study is that it is important to consider the quality of father-child relations among those who have a resident father when assessing the impact of nonresident fathers on their children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-605
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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