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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Christopher J. Trentacosta

Abstract

Father involvement in the context of urban African American youth was examined using a subsample (n = 556) of a large cohort of participants followed longitudinally through development. Data was collected at regular intervals (e.g., Age 7, 14, 19 and young adult). Young adults (n = 93) were surveyed for retrospective accounts of their fathers’ involvement in their lives before age 18. In the young adult data collection phase (the main subject of this project), most participants reported varying levels and frequency of involvement from their fathers while growing up, including helping at school, providing social support, and encouraging academic achievement. Most participants performed below average on measures of academic performance during development though a good many were enrolled in post-secondary education at the time this data was collected. Hierarchical linear multiple regressions were used in statistical analyses. At Age 14, there were significant relationships found between measures of broad involvement and children’s writing abilities, and time spent with children predicting GPA and math performance. There were no gender differences present with relation to father involvement. Similar trends persisted even when using the larger (n = 556) cohort. This study showed support for previous findings among urban African American youth with regard to father involvement and shows the many ways in which they are present in their children’s lives over time. Also, this study gives validity to the congruence that exists between the views of father involvement between mother and young adult reports.

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