Annotation: Children's relationships with their nonresident fathers

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59 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The frequency of parental separation means that increasing numbers of children have fathers who live in different households from mother-and-child; the significance of contact and relationships between children and their nonresident fathers for children's adjustment is receiving growing attention. Lessons from this research are considered. Methods: Recent meta-analyses and overviews of research and key research projects, are discussed. Findings related to contact and relationship quality arc he main focus of the annotation. Results: Economic support from nonresident fathers is related to children's well-being, and continues to be a key factor. Findings on contact are more mixed, especially from early studies; the effect size of associations between contact and positive child outcome has increased in recent research. Quality of child-fathcr relationships is consistently related to adjustment outcome. Authoritative parenting, involvement and feelings of closeness are of particular importance in relation to adjustment, and these links arc related to the quality of mother-nonresident father relations, and the mother-child relationship. Age differences, patterns over time, and gender are discussed; the perspectives of fathers and the problems they face in maintaining authoritative relationships are considered. Conclusions: The significance of child-nonresident father relationships for children's and fathers' well-being is clear and merits further research; fruitful new directions for such research, within the framework of other family relationships, arc outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659 - 671
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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