The determinants of fathering during the child's second and third years of life: A developmental analysis

Sharon Woodworth, Jay Belsky, Keith Crnic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Scopus citations


To further the understanding of the determinants of fathering, the parenting of 64 fathers of first-born male toddlers was observed at home at four ages across the second and third years of life (15, 21, 27, and 33 months). Four qualitative measures of fathering were derived from the observational data. Hierarchical linear regression models were used to assess the association(s) between these fathering behaviors and variables representing three broad domains of influence on parenting (parent characteristics, social-contextual factors, and child characteristics), as well as social economic status. Consistent with Belsky's model of the determinants of parenting, the characteristics of fathers were most predictive of both average levels of fathering and change in fathering. Measures of the social-contextual domain also proved influential, although child characteristics did not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-692
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1996
Externally publishedYes



  • Fathering
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Toddlers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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