Award Date

May 2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Committee Member

Christie Batson

Second Committee Member

Georgiann Davis

Third Committee Member

Jennifer Keene

Fourth Committee Member

Terry Miethe

Number of Pages

170

Abstract

Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study, I explore factors that predict fathers’ caregiving for children up to five years old. I study the role of social contexts in fathers’ caregiving trajectories for their young children, including family dynamics and parent’s gender ideology, across ethnoracial groups. I use OLS regressions to investigate how fathers’ early caregiving experiences, their linked-lives with others, and their attitudes about the fatherhood role predict later caregiving for their children, and how those patterns very between families with different ethnoracial backgrounds. I use summed averages of itemized caregiving by fathers, rather than proxy measures for access or presence, and several measures of gendered ideology around the fatherhood role. The sample includes a diverse pool of fathers, particularly from vulnerable and underrepresented populations. These experiences are not monolithic, and we should seek to understand the intersectional experiences of fatherhood. As gendered expectations change over time, understanding the social contexts of caregiving in families allows us to better inform effective and supportive family policies, and make a more humane world for caregivers and those they care for. Results show that fathers’ early caregiving predicts later caregiving, especially for white fathers. Fathers’ consistent residency with the child predicted more caregiving when the child was five-years-old, and fewer people in the household predicted more caregiving by fathers when the child was three. White fathers were the only group for whom gender ideology variables had a significant relationship with caregiving: white fathers who agreed that men should work, and women should care did less caregiving. White fathers did more caregiving overall, but types of caregiving varied across ethnoracial groups. For white fathers, being older was associated with less caregiving at five-years old. Black fathers with more education did more caregiving for five-year-old’s. Lack of stable residency was associated with less caregiving for black fathers, compared to black fathers with less education. More people in Hispanic fathers’ household predicted less caregiving for three-year-old’s. In the full regression, no particular variable predicted caregiving by fathers in other ethnoracial groups. This study contributes to the body of knowledge about the contexts of fathers’ caregiving.

Keywords

Caregiving; Family; Fatherhood; Gender Ideology; Life Course; Race and Ethnicity

Disciplines

Sociology

Language

English


Included in

Sociology Commons

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