This study examined the patterns of contact and involvement between adolescents and their non-resident fathers after divorce in an ethnically diverse sample.
Interaction, Availability and Responsibility
The data was analysed to determine the role of Lamb, Pleck and Levine's (1986) three constructs in the involvement of non-resident fathers, i.e. interaction, availability and responsibility.
The results indicated that the majority of male and female adolescents reported continued direct and indirect contact with their fathers, regardless of paternal remarriage and the lapse of time since the divorce.
In measuring father involvement, the adolescents reported on four aspects of father involvement i.e. financial contributions, shared activities, communication and feelings of emotional closeness.
The results on father involvement indicate that most fathers make contributions financially in terms of the payment of maintenance, school fees and pocket money.
Adolescents further reported that they spent most of their time with their non-resident fathers engaging in leisure activities such as shopping and frequenting restaurants.
Boys reported higher levels of communication and feelings of emotional closeness than girls.
Overall, the study postulates that non-resident fathers play a less significant role in providing parental guidance to their children.
The most important limitation of the research was indicated as the lack of empirical investigation of mother-child involvement.
Estelle De Wit - Child Psychologist Port Elizabeth
Download the full research article here: Patterns of Contact and Involvement between Adolescents and their Non-resident Fathers
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