Chip off the old block

The little research that has been attempted always focused on the “invisible” father figure in the African American community. Invisible fathers are fathers who have almost no contact with their children, either by choice, incarceration, or due to social pressures. It seems that if there were programs to educate new or young fathers, then maybe the issue of invisible fathers would be alleviated. Robbers (2009) examined the effectiveness of the Caring Equation, a parenting program for adolescent teen fathers.

This study was longitudinal in nature and lasted about 4 years. A pre-test and a series Of post-tests were given to measure the adolescent fathers’ involvement during various activities. The post-tests were given at 6 months, 12 months, and then two year intent/alls to measure the amount of time the fathers had to spend with their children and what had been learned so far in the program. The sample consisted of 31 0 young fathers; 80% were Hispanic American, 12% were African American, 7% were European American, and 1% were from other races.

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Robbers (2009) found that the ages of the fathers played a large role on how involved they were in their children lives and the amount of support given. Typically the younger the fathers were, the more involved they were, either because the fathers came from close knit families or had good relationships with their mothers. The support and involvement begin to diminish around year two because the father was either in school or working. Although the involvement diminished, the increase in responsibility and work ethic was a good characteristic they may have learned from their own fathers.

Bronze-Tinker, Scott, and Lila (2010) examined the different characteristics of custodial single father families, the long term effects of their involvement, ND the parenting styles demonstrated in the lives of their adolescents. This longitudinal study analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (INLAYS). The sample consisted of 3,977 youth. The data Were collected between 1997 and 2003. Bronze-Tinker et al. Found that there was a higher level of disconnectedness reported in single father households than in traditional two parent households.

There were low levels of high school completion within single father households as compared to traditional two parent households. Bronze-Tinker et al. Also found that there were no significant differences in parental involvement of single fathers versus traditional two parent homes. The difference in parenting styles may have contributed some to the lack of parental involvement in some instances. For example, there was less involvement from single fathers who utilized the authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles.

Irish, Jodi, and Cycles (2004) examined the relationships between fathers and adolescents, especially nontraditional fathers. Irish et al. Looked at the quality of father-adolescent relationships (I. E. Closeness) and adolescents’ attitudes toward divorce. The closer the relationship between father and adolescent, the less likely the adolescent would go through a divorce themselves in the future. The closeness felt between adolescents and their fathers was a predictor of adolescents’ later attitudes toward divorce, but this was more so for boys than girls.

The sample consisted of 1,498 families, 30% European American, 60% African American, and other races, which were a part of the Maryland Adolescent Development in Context longitudinal study. This study examined environmental effects on adolescent socio-emotional development. Irish et al. Seed sixty-two trained interviewers who went out to each family’s home and conducted a survey. The adolescents and mothers were interviewed face-to-face while the fathers filled out a questionnaire.

Coles (2003) examined data from a small sample of African American single fathers in order to build theory from the ground up for future research in this new area. The initial reason for this study was to see if it would be feasible to do a larger scale version and to test venues to locate respondents. The focus was mainly on the reason why a father would decide to take on the responsibility of single fatherhood. The study was conducted with a convenience sample of ten fathers from Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin.

The fathers filled out a 10 page questionnaire and participated in a two to three hour interview with the primary researcher. This research design was not a good one because the convenience sample leaves room for bias. The interview questions and the questionnaire were designed to explore the motivation for these fathers taking on the responsibility of fatherhood. However, out of the five quantitative measures included in the questionnaire (employment and income, social support, family background, and prior Raritan status), only the fathers’ employment and income were used to determine the fathers’ motivation for taking on fatherhood.

Easement, Metzger, and Companion-Barr (2004) examined the influences of developmental transitions on middle class African American late adolescents’ perceptions of closeness, supportive relationships, and negative interactions with parents. This was a five year longitudinal study with a sample size of 76 middle class African American late adolescents and their parents. Adolescents filled out a questionnaire that assessed their education level, attachment to parents, and adolescent-parent conflict. Easement et al. Mound that there was significant stability in the perceptions of African American adolescents’ closeness to both their mothers and fathers. Easement et al. Found that perceived closeness, supportive relationships, and negative interactions with parents varied throughout the five year study and also that gender influenced adolescents’ attachments on later supportive relationships with their mothers during the transition between adolescence and young adulthood. As evident by the literature out there, there may be a few research studies hat focus on single fathers, but the majority of the research still emphasizes mother-child relationships.

More research needs to be conducted on single fathers and their influences on their adolescent children. Single fathers are a demographic that has a negative connotation attached to it because of stereotypes that are perpetuated throughout the media about the African American and Hispanic American communities. The data suggest that the invisible father has become an epidemic because most studies are designed with only the mother (single, teen, step, or divorced) in mind. However, there re some single fathers out there who actually are involved in their children’s lives.

Do single fathers, African American in particular, who spend more time with their adolescent sons, have sons who have more positive attitudes toward marriage and family? New research on single father and fatherhood in general would shed light on why some single fathers take on the responsibility of fatherhood willingly and why others shy away from it or downright reject it. This could ultimately reveal if the behaviors or attitudes exhibited by these fathers would influence their adolescent sons, coloring heir ideas about marriage and family. Redirect that the more time single African American fathers spend with their adolescent sons, the more positive attitudes they will have toward marriage and family. Method Participants The population of interest is African American single fathers ages 30 to 55 from different socioeconomic backgrounds. A power analysis was used to determine the number of participants for this study. The study is interested in finding the association between the African American single fathers’ involvement and adolescent sons’ attitudes toward marriage and family.

These variables are continuous, so the effect size is represented by r. The standard effect size for social sciences was used which is . 30. I required power of . 90. I will use a convenience sampling strategy to recruit 1 20 participants. Advertisements will be placed in area newspapers and on area radio stations. Fliers will be placed at various highly visible locations around the city and surrounding areas recruiting participants who are willing to take part in this study. Participants will call in to the recruitment office and set up an appointment to come in for a brief interview.

Procedure The participants will be asked to read and sign a consent form giving me permission to use information obtained during this study. A series of surveys will be used to collect information during the study. Measures Participants will be asked fill out a general demographic information form that will provide information about their age, city of residence, education level, and family structure (I. E. Separated, divorced, widowed, custodial father never married, etc… ). There will be ;o semi-private areas set up in a local community center.

Each area will have multiple computers where the artisans will gather and answer the survey questions. The Father Involvement scale will be used to measure African American single fathers’ involvement (Finley and Schwartz, 2004). This scale lists 20 domains of father involvement. For each domain listed, the participants are asked to rate fathers’ involvement on a scale of I(not at all involved) to 5 (very involved). The total score will be calculated by adding up the domain ratings. The possible scores can range from 20 to 100.

Participants will be instructed to place their father’s involvement rating into the right hand blank Of the domain sited, (e. G. , “Social Development “). No score will be reversed scored for this scale. Hill’s Variableness of Attitude toward Marriage Scale (Hill, 1951) will be used to measure adolescent sons’ attitude toward marriage and family. This is a Liker-type style of measurement which consists of 9 questions. The Participants will be asked to rate their attitude toward marriage on a scale from 1 (not difficult at all) to 5 (very difficult).

A sample item will read “In your opinion, would adjustment to married life be difficult for you”. Salts, Isomer, Landholding, and Smith (1994) modified the first seven questions to Hill’s original version to make sure that the questions reflected the possibility of marriage instead of the inevitability. The sample item is an example of the modification. The last 2 questions will be scored on a 2 point answer scale, 1 (no) and 2 (yes). Some items will be reversed scored and a total will be computed.