Is She the Boss of Us? Maternal Grandmothers and Father Identity in Fragile Families

Heidi M. Williams, University of Louisville
Robin S. Hognas, University of Louisville

Scholars and policy makers are increasingly concerned with the growing complexity of families. An increasing number of children from an early age live apart from their biological fathers. Research shows that nonresident versus resident fathers are less involved with their biological children and involvement may be a function of father identity. Research also shows that maternal grandmothers often co-reside with mothers and play a central role within the family. This paper examines the extent to which maternal grandmothers’ involvement is associated with father identity. Results using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study suggest maternal grandmothers’ involvement, and financial assistance in particular, is associated with a decrease in positive father identity.

  See paper

Presented in Session 109: Families Living Apart in the United States