Who are the fathers in Healthy Families Arizona? An examination of father data in at-risk families

Alyson F. Shapiro, Judy Krysik, Amy L. Pennar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Despite substantial research documenting the importance of father-child relations, little is known about fathers in families considered at risk for child abuse, and this lack of information makes adequate targeting of fathers in interventions challenging. This research aims to provide information that will aid interventions in targeting fathers and addressing father-related family issues through: (a) providing descriptive information regarding fathers in families at risk for child abuse, and (b) examining aspects of family well-being relative to father involvement. Analyses were conducted on mother-report data in families eligible for the Healthy Families Arizona prevention program (N=197). Results indicated that although only 15% of parents in the sample were married, 47% of families had resident fathers, and 77% of fathers had some contact with their new babies. Families with greater father involvement had better prenatal care, higher incomes, less maternal involvement in Child Protective Services, less physical domestic violence (DV), and greater maternal mental health reflected through less loneliness. These findings have implications for targeting nonresident as well as resident fathers in families at risk for child abuse and for exploring DV issues in families with noninvolved fathers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-336
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011


  • At-risk families
  • Child Protective Services
  • Child abuse
  • Father involvement
  • Fathers
  • Healthy Families Arizona
  • Intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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