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Title: Family Structure, Father Involvement and Adolescent Behavioral Outcomes
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Carlson, Marcia Jeanne
Family Structure, Father Involvement and Adolescent Behavioral Outcomes
Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan, August 2000
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Adolescent Behavior; Behavioral Problems; Child Self-Administered Supplement (CSAS); Delinquency/Gang Activity; Divorce; Family Structure; Fathers and Children; Fathers, Absence; Fathers, Biological; Fathers, Involvement; Fathers, Presence; Marriage; Parenting Skills/Styles; Peers/Peer influence/Peer relations; School Suspension/Expulsion; Sociability/Socialization/Social Interaction

Recent changes in the demographics of American families have led to a striking increase in the number of families headed by a single parent. As fewer children spend most or all of their childhood living with two biological parents, concern has risen about the consequences of various family structures for children's development and well-being. This dissertation examines the effects of family structure on adolescent behavioral outcomes and the mechanisms by which those effects operate. Regression analyses are conducted using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth for adolescents ages 10 to 14 in 1996. Dependent variables include measures of externalizing and internalizing behaviors such as delinquency, substance use, school suspension and negative feelings. A range of mediating factors is assessed, with emphasis on the role of father involvement. Consistent with previous research, results from this dissertation show significant deleterious effects of single-parent families for children and adolescents. The findings also indicate that most of the effects of family structure can be accounted for by a range of intervening factors and background characteristics. Family structure operates through mediating factors which include the father-child relationship, economic status, and negative peer influence. Father involvement is a particularly important mediator that partially "explains" the greater behavioral problems observed among adolescents in single-parent families. Variations with respect to the effects of father involvement are explored. Involvement by biological fathers is associated with improved behavioral scores for all adolescents regardless of living arrangements, although involvement by residential fathers appears to have a greater effect than involvement by non-residential fathers; these conclusions, however, are tentative and require further analysis using a larger sample of adolescents. Initial evidence indicates that involvement by step fathe rs does not improve adolescent behavior, although the small number of cases living in step families prevents definitive conclusions from being drawn. The level of biological father involvement is strongly associated with the quality of relationship between the mother and the father, particularly for adolescents who live with their biological, married parents.
Bibliography Citation
Carlson, Marcia Jeanne. Family Structure, Father Involvement and Adolescent Behavioral Outcomes. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan, August 2000.