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Disadvantaged Men as Fathers

The second webinar in the series, Disadvantaged Men as Fathers, will be presented by Lonnie Berger from the UW–Madison Institute for Research on Poverty. The role of men in families has changed over the past several decades; at the same time, the structure of families has become increasingly diverse. While fathers once primarily served as family providers, their role now includes a wide range of child-rearing activities, and they are much more likely to be actively engaged in children’s care. In addition, the father figures in children’s lives may include nonresident biological fathers and resident social fathers (men who are married to or living with children’s mothers) as well as resident biological fathers. Children born to disadvantaged parents are particularly likely to experience multiple types of father figures. This webinar will review current theory and empirical evidence regarding young disadvantaged men’s involvement with children to whom they are (resident or nonresident) biological or social fathers. Specifically, it will provide a brief overview of the current and historical role of the father in child rearing, describe the characteristics of men who become young fathers, summarize the empirical literature on both antecedents of fathers’ involvement and patterns of involvement across father types, examine limitations of existing research, and draw implications for future research and policy.


Child Development & Well-Being, Children, Family & Partnering, Family Structure, Multiple-Partner Fertility, Parenting


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