The Role of Men's Childbearing Intentions in Father Involvement

Laura D. Lindberg Kathryn Kost, Guttmacher Institute Isaac Maddow-Zimet, Guttmacher Institute

First published on Journal of Marriage and Family:

| DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12377
Abstract / Summary


An expanding body of research has investigated factors that influence fathers' involvement with their children. Generally overlooked has been the role of pregnancy intentions on men's fathering behaviors. In this study, the authors used nationally representative data from men interviewed in the 2002 and 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth to examine relationships between fathers' pregnancy intentions and multiple aspects of their parental involvement. Using propensity score methods to control for confounding, they found that men were less likely to live with a young child from a mistimed than intended pregnancy and that among nonresident fathers, mistimed pregnancies were associated with lower levels of visitation and consequently reduced participation in caregiving and play. Among both resident and nonresident fathers, mistimed pregnancies were also associated with lower self-appraisals of fathering quality when compared with intended pregnancies; for nonresident fathers, however, this association was moderated by other involvement.