Fathering in intact and divorced families: Ethnic differences in retrospective reports


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    Department of Psychology, Florida International University, University Park Campus, Miami, FL 33199.

Center for Family Studies, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami School of Medicine, 1425 NW 10th Avenue, Miami, FL 33136 (SSchwartz@med.miami.edu).


The present study was designed to investigate whether ethnicity moderates the effects of divorce on young adults’ retrospective reports of fathering. An ethnically diverse sample of 1,989 university students completed measures of nurturant fathering, reported father involvement, and desired father involvement. Compared with participants from intact families, those from divorced families indicated lower levels of nurturant fathering and reported father involvement. These differences varied considerably by ethnicity. Reported fathering differences between participants from intact and divorced families were greatest in African Americans, Caribbean Islanders, and foreign-born Cubans. These differences were smallest in non-Hispanic Whites and Asians. Participants from divorced families reported greater levels of desired father involvement than did participants from intact families. These differences were not moderated by ethnicity.