Nonresident Fathers and Children: Parents’ New Unions and Frequency of Contact

Nonresident Fathers and Children: Parents’ New Unions and Frequency of Contact

Nonresident Fathers and Children: Parents’ New Unions and Frequency of Contact

Nonresident Fathers and Children: Parents’ New Unions and Frequency of Contacts

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Référence bibliographique [2508]

Juby, Heather, Billette, Jean-Michel, Laplante, Benoît et Le Bourdais, Céline. 2007. «Nonresident Fathers and Children: Parents’ New Unions and Frequency of Contact ». Journal of Family Issues, vol. 28, no 9, p. 1220-1245.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
« The conjugal and parental trajectory followed by mothers and fathers after separation appears to be one source of change in the relationship fathers maintain with nonresident children. Increasing our understanding of these mechanisms is a central objective of this research. » (p. 1222) Further more, a « [...] central aim of this research is to explore whether new union timing is also linked to the frequency of contact between nonresident fathers and children. » (p. 1223)

Questions/Hypothèses :
Question: « Does entering a new union at or soon after separation affect a father’s relationship with nonresident children more fundamentally than if he does so later on, once visiting patterns and child support payments are well established? » (p. 1223)
Hypothesis: « [W]e test the hypothesis that the earlier nonresident fathers enter a new union, the more it reduces the frequency of contact with children. » (p. 1224)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
Canada’s National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY). « The following analyses are based on the sample of children (aged 0 to 11 years in 1994-1995) whose biological parents were both alive but not sharing a residence at the first two survey cycles (1994-1995 and 1996-1997). » (p. 1225)

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


« Perhaps the principal conclusions to draw from this study relate to the importance of the period during which postseparation contact is established and to the strong positive link between child support payment and frequent visitation identified in much of the literature. Clearly, fathers who establish close links with children during the crisis period surrounding separation have a much greater chance of remaining closely involved with them throughout childhood. All three analyses underline the fact that fathers who invest time in children also invest money; the significant association between declining visits and decreasing payment regularity is particularly clear in the final analysis. Although this research has been able to go no further than other research in understanding the direction of the link between child support and contact frequency, it highlights once again the inextricable link between these two aspects of the nonresident paternal relationship. Involved fathers do not abandon nonresident children, whatever the family commitments they later take on. As Seltzer (1991) concluded, finding ways to help nonresident fathers establish frequent contact from the start is probably the best way to ensure contact in the long term and the surest way of maintaining their continued economic support of children. » (p. 1242)