Nonresident fathers' and grandparents' early years support and middle childhood socio-emotional adjustment

Parkes, A. , Chambers, S. and Buston, K. (2021) Nonresident fathers' and grandparents' early years support and middle childhood socio-emotional adjustment. Journal of Marriage and Family, 83(2), pp. 358-374. (doi: 10.1111/jomf.12752) (PMID:34880506) (PMCID:PMC8629113)

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Objective: This study investigates how different patterns of nonresident father support for children and mothers in the early years predict middle childhood adjustment, and whether grandparent support has compensating effects. Background: Nonresident fathers' involvement in children's lives benefits socio‐emotional adjustment, but it is unclear whether support directed at children is compromised by interparental tensions, or whether other factors may compensate for weaker patterns of father support. Method: Latent class analyses identified patterns of nonresident father support for single mothers and their 34‐month‐old child (None 35%, Low 16%, Moderate 21%, High 28%) and grandparent support (Low 15%, Moderate Maternal 33%, High Maternal 43%, High Maternal and Paternal 9%), using a sample of 648 families from the Growing Up in Scotland cohort. Effects of father support on children's internalizing and externalizing problems from age 46 to 122 months were explored (n = 352), together with moderating effects of grandparent support. Results: Low, Moderate and No father support had similar estimated effects on higher externalizing and internalizing problem levels, and steeper increases in internalizing problems. Compared to Low grandparent support, High Maternal and Paternal grandparent support reduced effects of weaker father support on both types of problem; and was more protective than High Maternal grandparent support against internalizing problems. Conclusion: Weaker patterns of nonresident father support in early childhood, characterized by low involvement and interparental tensions or by no contact, were associated with poorer middle childhood adjustment. Support from both sets of grandparents offered children most protection against the effects of weaker father support.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was supported by Medical Research Council grants MC_UU_12017/11, MC_UU_12017/12, MC_UU_12017/14, and MC_PC_13027, and by Chief Scientist Office Grants SPHSU11, SPHSU12, and SPHSU14. The Growing Up in Scotland study is funded by the Scottish Government.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Parkes, Dr Alison and Buston, Dr Katie and Chambers, Dr Stephanie
Authors: Parkes, A., Chambers, S., and Buston, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Marriage and Family
ISSN (Online):1741-3737
Published Online:25 January 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Marriage and Family 83(2): 358-374
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727641SPHSU Core Renewal: Setting and Health Improvement Research ProgrammeKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/12IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727661SPHSU Core Renewal: Complexity in Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/14IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU11
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU12
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU14