Money, time, or something in - between? Measuring nonresident fathers’ informal and in - kind contributions

Maureen Waller, Allison Dwyer Emory, Elise Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Despite efforts to improve the measurement of low-income, nonresident fathers’ economic contributions to children in large-scale surveys, limited research has examined how survey measures of informal and in-kind support relate to other standard indicators of fathering. Drawing on data from a large sample of separated parents (N = 1,381) and matched nonresident father–child pairs (n = 846) in the Fragile Families Study, our results show that in-kind and informal support represent the same construct, and that this construct differs from both formal child support and fathers’ time with children. In comparison with formal child support, informal and in-kind support measures converged more strongly with indicators of the quality and quantity of time spent with children, consistent with recent conceptualizations of involved fathering. Informal and in-kind support measures were also more predictive of closeness in the nonresident father–child relationship, supporting qualitative research about its emotional significance in low-income families.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Early online date4 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

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