Fathers' status and role identities and involvement shortly after divorce

Raymond E. Petren, Anthony J. Ferraro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The goal was to examine (a) whether fathers' role-level and status-level identity salience are associated with father involvement (engagement, affection, responsibility) following divorce and (b) whether barriers to father involvement (coparenting relationship, divorce decree dissatisfaction) moderate associations between identity and involvement. Background: Father identity has been established as a predictor of father involvement. However, little is known about the effects of role-level identity domains (caregiver identity, provider identity). Also, contextual factors may interfere with or support the enactment of father identities. Method: Fathers from a southeastern state (n = 116) who had experienced divorce within the past 3 months were included. Hierarchical regression was used to examine direct associations and moderation effects among key indicators. Results: Fathers' identity status salience was positively associated with engagement. Caregiving role salience was positively associated with responsibility. Provider role salience was positively associated with affection when coparenting cooperation was high and negatively associated with both affection and responsibility when coparenting cooperation was low. Conclusion: Findings suggest the importance of both the general father identity and role-level identities to father involvement shortly following divorce. Coparenting cooperation may be an important mechanism for fostering involvement, especially for fathers who more strongly identify as financial providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1401-1422
Number of pages22
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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