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Fathers’ Religious Involvement And Early Childhood Behavior

  • Richard J. Petts

    (Ball State University)

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    Previous research suggests that many men increase their religious involvement after the birth of a new child. This study extends this research by examining whether fathers maintain a higher rate of religious participation as children get older and how fathers’ religiosity may influence children’s behavior. Results suggest that many fathers maintain a higher level of religious participation during the early years of their child’s life. Although fathers’ religious involvement does not appear to directly influence children’s behavior, there is evidence that fathers’ religiosity moderates the influence of other family characteristics on children. Parental relationship quality and mothers’ religiosity are associated with fewer problem behaviors among children when fathers believe that religion is important to family life. Results also suggest that being raised by a non-religious father is associated with increased externalizing problem behavior among young children. Overall, this study suggests that religious communities may be a source of support that encourages fathers to be more active in their family life and promote positive development among children.

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    Paper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. in its series Working Papers with number 1208.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:pri:crcwel:wp09-22-ff
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    1. Patrick Royston, 2005. "Multiple imputation of missing values: update," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(2), pages 188-201, June.
    2. Patrick Royston, 2005. "MICE for multiple imputation of missing values," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2005 02, Stata Users Group.
    3. Patrick Royston, 2005. "Multiple imputation of missing values: Update of ice," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(4), pages 527-536, December.
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