Paternal involvement among African-American fathers in two-parent families: influences in early child development Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Head-Reeves, Darlene Michelle
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • The primary focus of this research project concerned the patterns and frequency of paternal involvement among resident African American fathers and the effect of involvement on young children's development. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Birth Cohort, I examined involvement of co-resident African American and European American fathers in their infants' lives, evaluated how well the measures used to assess father involvement in the ECLS-B captured fathering across racial groups, and examined relationships between various dimensions of father involvement during infancy and children's subsequent development. Black fathers reported engaging in caregiving activities and being more affectively engaged with their child compared to White fathers. SEM analyses indicated that the measures of paternal involvement in the ECLS-B did not function similarly across ethnic groups, highlighting the need to evaluate the validity of paternal involvement measures across groups. SEM analyses showed no relationships between paternal involvement and cognitive development for children of co-resident Black fathers. However, among children of White fathers, paternal capital was significantly related to cognitive development. Paternal child care was positively associated with child engagement, attention and temperament while caregiving was inversely related to temperament and self-regulation of children of Black fathers. Child care was positively related to toddlers' temperament for children of White fathers. Finally, paternal capital and language/literacy activities were positively associated with engagement and attention, but paternal play was negatively related to these outcomes for children of White fathers.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Studies in the School of Education."
  • Vernon-Feagans, Lynne
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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