Determinants of Non-Resident Fathers’ Involvement with Their Children in Eastern and Western Europe: Do the Patterns Differ?

Marieke Heers , Swiss Foundation for Research in the Social Sciences (FORS)
Ivett Szalma, HAS Centre for Social Sciences

The number of children growing up with one parent is growing and in most cases of union dissolution the child continues co-residing with the mother. The relationships between non-resident fathers and their children are increasingly heterogeneous. Here, we analyze the extent to which fathers’ individual characteristics and policy-factors predict non-resident fathers’ involvement with their children after parental separation. We use a unique dataset in which we link information obtained from fathers from 14 countries from the Generations and Gender Programme to policy-level indicators that are likely to affect non-resident fathers’ involvement with their children. Our results contribute to the current literature as we differentiate individual- and policy-level factors and take the father’s perspective. We apply ordered logistic regressions and find that fathers’ individual characteristics both in socio-demographic and interpersonal terms are important predictors of father-child contact. At the policy-level, fathers’ leave entitlements strongly predict father-child contact after parental separation.

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 Presented in Session 103. Children in Diverse Family Structures