Does Fatherhood Matter for Men?

Authors


Abstract

Ignored in the flurry of new research on fathers is that fatherhood may have consequences for men. This article explores possible effects on the lives and well-being of men for a range of fatherhood experiences. Data are drawn from the National Survey of Families and Households. The first part of this article examines whether men's varied associations with children (no children, coresident, non-coresident, and stepfatherhood) are associated with men's psychological health and behavior, social connections, intergenerational family relations, and work behavior. We found strong evidence that fathers differ from nonfathers in their social connections, family relationships, and work behavior. There is significant variation in effects among the father types as well. The second section of this article focuses attention only on men who are fathers and examines whether fathering behavior (e.g., the amount of time and nature of the activities that fathers are reported to be spending with their children) is associated with men's well-being. The effects of father involvement on men was found to be most significant for those who were living with their own children.

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