the transmission of fathering from fathers and mothers to sons n.
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The Transmission of Fathering from Fathers and Mothers to Sons

The Transmission of Fathering from Fathers and Mothers to Sons

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The Transmission of Fathering from Fathers and Mothers to Sons

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  1. The Transmission of Fathering from Fathers and Mothersto Sons Joseph H. Pleck, Sandra L. Hofferth, Colleen Vesely, & Natasha Cabrera Father Involvement Research 2008 Conference 1

  2. Acknowledgements • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development through grant P01 HD-045610 to Cornell University with a subcontract to the University of Maryland • Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture

  3. Prior research • evidence for intergenerational transmission of parenting • Conger et al. (2003) • Simons et al. (2003) • Thornberry et al. (2003) • Chen & Kaplan (2001) 3

  4. Limitations of prior research • white, middle class samples • predominant focus on transmission of negative parenting • some research from crime/delinquency tradition

  5. studied in both genders, but studied only within gender • so, effect of G1 fathering  G2 fathering does not take G1 mothering into account • problematic because G1 fathering and mothering are positively correlated • unless G1 mothering controlled, not analyzing independent effect of G1 fathering on G2 fathering

  6. Theory: distinguish between • direct effects: modeling • indirect effects: via influence of G1 parenting on G1 adolescent outcomes • G1 parenting  G1 adol. outcomes  G2 parenting • some supporting evidence

  7. Present study: Research questions Do the parenting practices of fathers and mothers influence the parenting behaviors of their sons as young adults? Is this influence mediated by their sons’ positive and negative behaviors in adolescence? 7

  8. Design considerations • use more diverse, representative sample • study both positive & negative parenting • test possible mediation by both positive & negative adolescent outcomes • in testing G1 fathering  G2 fathering, take G1 mothering into account

  9. Dataset NLSY79 young women (14-21 in 1979) Followed children of the young women from 1986 up through the present Self-administered questions to children 10-14 In 1994 began interviewing the youth 15 and older as respondents – the Young Adult study 10

  10. Intergenerational data used in this study Sample All G2 young men aged 17-29 in 2006 = 1,915 Used here: G2 young men who had become fathers by 2006 and who were living with at least one child = 409 G2 young men who became fathers by 2006 had children at relatively younger ages; had more disadvantaged backgrounds 11

  11. Data sources • G1 mothers, when G2 respondents were age 0-9 • G2 respondents as adolescents (10-17) • G2 respondents as young fathers • interviewer observations of G1 mothers & of G2 adolescents

  12. G1 Mothering Positive mothering (age 3-5) Warmth (interviewer report) Responsiveness (interviewer report) Harsh mothering (age 3-5) Spanking frequency (self report) Misbehavior vignette (self report) 13

  13. G1 Fathering Positive fathering Involvement of biological father in 7 decisions about his son when growing up, e.g., curfew, TV time (adolescent report, age 10-14) Whether the biological father cared for the youngest child in the household at ages 0-9 when the child’s mother was employed (prop. of years) (mother report) 14

  14. G2 Adolescent Outcomes Behavior problems (age 10-14) externalizing behavior (mother report) delinquent acts (self report) Positive attitudes & behavior Efficacy (age 15-17, self report) Persistence (age 10-14, interviewer report) Religious attendance (age 10-14, self report) 15

  15. G2 Fathering (self reports) Positive fathering warmth praise Discipline spanking frequency 16

  16. Sociodemographic controls Important to control for factors that influence both parenting and adolescent outcomes, such as: Family socioeconomic status Family structure (# of transitions) Child health Maternal age, depression, work hours Race/ethnicity 17

  17. Analysis Plan Used structural equation models to simultaneously estimate the relationships hypothesized. First tested the measurement model, then the entire structural model. The model was estimated using maximum likelihood, with missing values on the independent variables included in the models 18

  18. Key results • G1 pos. fathering  G2 pos. fathering • G1 pos. fathering and pos. & neg. mothering  adolescent pos. & neg. behaviors • but, adolescent pos. & neg. behaviors do not mediate the influence of G1 pos. fathering on G2 pos. fathering (all associations net of controls)

  19. Discussion influence of G1 fathering on G2 fathering shown for positive forms of fathering less frequently tested in prior research mediating role of adolescent outcomes found in prior research not replicated here adolescent measures are limited, but are strong enough to show influence of G1 parenting 22

  20. Limitations no data collected directly from G1 fathers G2 fathers in this sample had children at relatively young ages, so not representative as sample ages, we will be able to include G2 men becoming fathers later it was possible to study G2 fathering only in residential fathers, since fathering items asked only in this group 23

  21. Strengths Data collected from/about two generations from multiple informants over 20 year period More representative, diverse sample than prior studies G1 mothering controlled in assessing influence of G1 on G2 fathering Demonstrated intergenerational transmission of positive fathering 24