When Mom Dates, Dad Stops Visiting His Kids

Aug 03, 2009

New research from the Journal of Marriage and Family shows that children born outside of marriage are less likely to be visited by their father when the mother is involved in a new romantic relationship. Many children born outside of marriage are born to parents in unstable relationships and often live apart from their fathers.  The study finds that a mother’s social decisions have a direct effect on the contact between a father and his child.

Fathers are likely to not visit their child at all when the child’s mother forms a new early in the child’s life, especially if the new relationship is co-residential and the new partner is involved in childrearing activities. Additionally, fathers who initially visited their child at an earlier point are likely to stop visiting their child if the mother becomes romantically attached to someone. However, if the relationship ends, fathers have an opportunity to re-enter their child’s life.

The study examines the interactions non-residential fathers have with their children when a non-paternal figure (or co-residential partner) enters the life of the child. The research suggests that non-residential fathers should continue visitation despite the more complicated parental roles and relationships that may arise when mothers enter new relationships. The study notes that biological fathers can still make a unique contribution to their children even when their children have a new potential father-figure. More generally, this research also shows that decisions concerning parental responsibility and involvement do not operate in a vacuum, so efforts to promote responsible fatherhood need to consider both mothers’ and ’ behaviors.

The research, conducted by Dr. Karen Benjamin Guzzo of Kutztown University, looks at the significant decisions made by both parents when raising a child outside of marriage.  It uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a nationally representative longitudinal study of nearly 5,000 born in large U.S. cities between 1998 and 2000, the majority of whom are born outside of .

Provided by Wiley (news : web)

Explore further: Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Divorce may widen distance between teens, fathers

Jan 09, 2008

The typical distancing from parents by adolescents is exacerbated by divorce for fathers, but not for mothers, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

Empty nest syndrome may not be bad after all, study finds

Feb 21, 2008

One day they are crawling, the next day they are driving and then suddenly they aren’t kids anymore. As children reach adulthood, the parent-child relationship changes as parents learn to adapt to newly independent children. ...

Recommended for you

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

Apr 17, 2014

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

Apr 16, 2014

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.