Father-Adolescent Relationship Closeness: A Path Analysis of Family Factor Associates with Father-Adolescent Engagement and Relationship Quality

Abstract

Father-adolescent child relationship quality has been identified as key to adolescent health outcomes. While factors have previously been identified associated with father-adolescent closeness, a comprehensive model of understanding the influence of these factors is needed. Using cross-sectional data from the Study of Contemporary Fatherhood (SCF), this analysis of father-adolescent relationship closeness evaluated responses of nine hundred (N = 900) father surveys to investigate historical factors, including own father relationship quality, biological fathering, family transitions, and ACEs along with current factors, including co-parenting, depression, parenting stress, knowledge of adolescent, warmth, and engagement, on father-adolescent relationship closeness. Path analysis results indicate that father-adolescent relationship closeness was found to be positively associated with current factors, including co-parenting (p = .005), parenting stress (p = .008), parent depression (p = .004), parent knowledge of adolescent (p < .001), and warmth (p < .001), but not parent engagement. Historical factors, including ACEs, family transitions, family of origin biological father, and own father relationship quality, were not significant predictors of father-adolescent closeness. Implications of this study include the importance of current familial factors on promoting father-adolescent relationship closeness, particularly in family interventions for fathers.

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This research was funded by internal grants at Brigham Young University.

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Correspondence to Mark H. Trahan.

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This study has exemption from IRB approval. Data from the original study has appeared in multiple publications, including Trahan, M.H., & Shafer, K. (2019). Paternal self-efficacy: A parenting resilience factor for fathers with depression. Social Work Research, 43(2), 65–128. These data have also been used in previous presentations at the Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, the National Council on Family Relations Annual Conference, and Society for Research in Child Development Annual Conference.

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Trahan, M.H., Morley, R.H. & Shafer, K. Father-Adolescent Relationship Closeness: A Path Analysis of Family Factor Associates with Father-Adolescent Engagement and Relationship Quality. Child Adolesc Soc Work J (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-020-00677-1

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Keywords

  • Father
  • Adolescent
  • Parenting
  • Closeness
  • Path analysis