Patterns of father involvement and child development among families with low income

Susan Yoon, Minjung Kim, Junyeong Yang, Joyce Y. Lee, Anika Latelle, Jingyi Wang, Yiran Zhang, Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study examined patterns of father involvement and their relations with social, behavioral, and cognitive development among low-income children < 5 years. Latent class analysis on data from 2650 fathers (Mage = 29.35 years) in the Supporting Healthy Marriages program revealed four father involvement patterns: (1) High positive involvement (48%); (2) engaged but harsh discipline (42%); (3) low cognitive stimulation (8%); and (4) lower involvement (2%). The low cognitive stimulation pattern was associated with greater father-and mother-reported child behavior problems and lower child socioemotional and cognitive functioning. The engaged but harsh discipline pattern was associated with more father-reported child behavior problems. These findings highlight the need for active engagement of fathers in parenting interventions to promote child development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1164
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning Research and Evaluation (grant #90PR0015). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the study sponsors.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: S.Y. was supported by the National Institute of Drug Abuse through K01DA050778 (Yoon, PI).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Behavior problems
  • Child development
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Father involvement
  • Latent profile analysis
  • Socioemotional functioning


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