Type of Document Dissertation Author Seo, Jinsook Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-04062007-173413 Title The Long-Term Influence of Father Involvement on Emerging Adults' Psychological Well-Being Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Family and Child Sciences, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Thomas Cornille Committee Chair Ann Mullis Committee Member Gary Peterson Committee Member Kay Pasley Committee Member Keywords
- Life Satisfaction
- Mother-Child Relationship
- Interparental Marital Relationship
- Father-Child Relationship
- Emerging Adulthood
- Children's Well-Being
Date of Defense 2007-03-28 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis study examined the longitudinal influence of father involvement on emerging adult children’s psychological well-being. This was explored in the contexts of mother involvement, interparental marital relationships, and children’s attributes. In addition, it was aimed to focus only on positive aspects of children’s psychological well-being, because protecting children from negative outcomes is not identical to promoting positive child outcomes. This study was based on Ecological Systems Theory. In particular, the PPCT (process, person, contexts, and time) model guided this study, in that proximal processes were represented by the interactions between a father and a child, person was represented by children’s attributes, contexts were represented by mother involvement and interparental marital relationships, and time was represented by a longitudinal analysis of this study.
To examine the research question, a secondary analysis was performed with three waves of data from the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH). The sub-sample of this study was 362 households where parents had maintained their marital relationship and responded to the survey since Wave 1, and where the focal children were the biological children of the parents. Variables of interests were constructed, using items measuring each construct: father/mother involvement, interparental marital relationship, children’s attributes (race, household income, and gender), and children’s psychological well-being (life satisfaction and self-mastery). The analysis was conducted using structural equation modeling with the AMOS 5.0 software.
The results showed that father involvement in young childhood had a long-term influence on emerging adult children’s life satisfaction. In addition, father involvement was influenced by mother involvement and interparental marital relationship contemporaneously in both Waves 1 and 2. Furthermore, interparental marital relationship was the strongest determinant of emerging adult children’s life satisfaction. Mother involvement did not show any direct influence on children’s psychological well-being. Interparental marital relationship and father involvement affect each other across data collection times (Waves 1 and 2). Children’s attributes represented by race, household income, and gender did not affect these relationships except for the effect of father involvement at Wave 1 on children’s self-mastery. All these results partially supported the hypotheses of this study and Ecological Systems Theory; children’s developmental outcomes are the products of father-child relationships in the contexts of mother involvement and interparental marital relationship, and time; children’s attributes were not strong determinants of child outcomes.
This study suggested several implications: (1) early father involvement has a long-term influence on children’s psychological well-being in emerging adulthood, (2) father involvement is influenced by contextual factors of mother involvement and parents’ marital relationships, (3) children’s attributes of race, household income, and gender affect father/mother involvement, interparental marital relationship, and children’s psychological well-being in various ways. Although this study had limitations, it indicated that children’s positive psychological well-being in emerging adulthood could be promoted by several familial factors in young childhood and adolescence as well as children’s attributes.
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