Paternal family relationships, child risk, and child outcomes

Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Robert Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Contemporary focus on fathers and their influence on child development reflects a broader shift in developmental research toward efforts to understand dynamic processes that account for the multi-dimensionality of child development. The family system is a set of relationships that rarely have been studied from a full system perspective. Historically, fathers were excluded from the analysis of factors influencing child development, as were father-mother relationships. In the former case, the assumption that fathers did not matter was at the least a covert aspect of all major theories of child development, which were anchored in mother-child relationship dynamics. In the latter case, the focus was primarily on the quality of the marital relationship, with little attention to how parental relationship quality affected their children. Today, researchers are actively in pursuit of the relationship networks that impact child development and fathers are no longer an invisible component of the child's relationship network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-144
Number of pages4
JournalFamily Science
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012


  • complex systems
  • father involvement
  • resilience
  • risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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