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Family Matters No. 57 - September 2000

Parental involvement of unwed non-resident fathers

Maggie Walter

Abstract

Modern western fatherhood is a paradox of competing images. While the importance of fathers to children and the unique value of father's role is increasingly recognised, the number of fathers who no longer live with their children is also escalating. The research reported in this paper tests the hypothesis that increased exnuptial births result in increased numbers of children being raised without significant paternal involvement. The analysis uses a combination of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (1997) Family Characteristics Survey and the 1990 Australian Institute of Family Studies Child Support Evaluation.  

Modern western fatherhood is a paradox of competing images. While the importance of fathers to children and the unique value of father's role is increasingly recognised, the number of fathers who no longer live with their children is also escalating. The research reported in this paper tests the hypothesis that increased exnuptial births result in increased numbers of children being raised without significant paternal involvement. The analysis uses a combination of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (1997) Family Characteristics Survey and the 1990 Australian Institute of Family Studies Child Support Evaluation.

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