Deadbeat Dads or Fatherhood in Poverty?

  • David J. PateJr.

Abstract

The notion of fatherhood has taken on several connotations in the battles over welfare reform since the 1960s. Fathers who failed to contribute to the family’s well-being were first described as absent, then as deadbeat. The latter term recognizes that some of these fathers are simply dead broke, and only infrequently possess the financial capacity to aid their children. Yet despite ongoing, heavily politicized debates over the role of fathers and the importance of marriage in poor communities, we know very little about how these men view their circumstances and responsibilities toward their families.

Keywords

Transportation Income Expense Arena Shoe 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Achatz, M. and MacAllum, C. A. (1994). Young unwed fathers: Report from the field. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures.Google Scholar
  2. Bartfeld, J. and Meyer, D. R. (1994). Are there really dead-beat dads? The relationship between enforcement, ability to pay, and compliance in nonmarital child support cases. Social Service Review, 68(2), 219–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cancian, M. and Meyer, D. R. (2004). Fathers of children receiving welfare: Can they provide more child support? Social Service Review, 78(2), 179–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cancian, M., Caspar, E., and Meyer, D. R. (2001). Experimental design. Technical Report 1. In D. R. Meyer and M. Cancian (eds.), W-2 Child support demonstration evaluation, phase 1: Final report. Volume III:Technical reports. April. Report to the Department of Workforce Development, Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin, Madison.Google Scholar
  5. Dowd, N. E. (2000). Redefining fatherhood. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Edin, K., Lein, L., Nelson, T., and Clampet-Lundquist, S. (2001). Talking with low-income fathers. Poverty Research News, 4(2), 10–12.Google Scholar
  7. Garfinkel, I., Meyer, D., and McLanahan, S. (1998).A Patchwork Portrait of Nonresident Fathers. In I. Garfinkel, S. McLanahan, J.A. Seltzer, and D. R. Meyer (eds.), Fathers under Fire: The Revolution in Child Support Enforcement. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  8. Hamer, J. (2001) What it means to be daddy: Fatherhood for Black men living away from their children. NewYork: Columbia University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Horn, W and Bush, A. (1997). Fathers, Marriages and Welfare Reform. Indianapolis, IN: Hudson Institute.Google Scholar
  10. Johnson, E., Levine, A., and Doolittle, F C. (1999). Fathers’ Fair Share: Helping Poor Fathers Manage Child Support and Fatherhood. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  11. Kost, K.A. (2001). The function of fathers: What poor men say about fatherhood. Families in Society: Journal of Contemporary Human Services, 82(5), 499–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Liebow, E. (1967). Tally’s corner: A study of negro streetcorner men. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  13. McLanahan, S., Garfinkel, I., and Audigier, C. N. (2001). The fragile families and child wellbeing baseline city report: Milwaukee. Princeton, NJ: The Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (Princeton University).Google Scholar
  14. Meyer, D. R. (1998). The effects of child support on the economic status of nonresident fathers. In I. Garfinkel, S. McLanahan, J.A. Seltzer, and D. R. Meyer (eds.), Fathers under fire: The revolution in child support enforcement. New York: The Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  15. Meyer, D. R. (1999). Compliance with child support orders in paternity and divorce cases. In R. A. Thompson and P. R. Amato (eds.), The Postdivorce Family. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  16. Mincy, R. B. and Sorensen, E. (1998). Deadbeats and turnips in child support reform. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 17(1), 44–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Murray, C. (1984). Losing ground: American social policy. (10th anniversary ed.) New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  18. Pate, D. (2002). An ethnographic inquiry into the life experiences of African American fathers with children on W-2. In D. R. Meyer and M. Cancian (eds.), W-2 child support demonstration evaluation, report on nonexperimental analyses, fathers of children in W-2 families, volume II. Report to the Department of Workforce Development. Madison, WI: Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin, Madison.Google Scholar
  19. Roberts, D. (1998). Welfare’s ban on poor motherhood. In Gwendolyn Mink (ed.), Whose welfare? NewYork: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Sorensen, E. and Zibman, C. (2000). To what extent do children benefit from child support? Washington, DC: Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  21. Stack, C. (1974). All our kin: Strategies for survival in a Black community. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  22. Sussman, S., welfare rights attorney, personal communication, June 16, 2004.Google Scholar
  23. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2000). Child Support for Custodial Mothers and Fathers: 1997. Current Population Reports, Series P60–187. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  24. U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement. (2000). Child support enforcement, FY 1999, preliminary examination. Available at http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cse/rpt/annrpt23/98artext.html.
  25. Waller, M. R. (2002). My baby’s father: unmarried parents and paternal responsibility. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Waller, M. R. and Plotnick, R. (2001). Effective child support policy for low-income families: Evidence from street-level research. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 20, 89–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Jill Duerr Berrick and Bruce Fuller 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. PateJr.

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations