Custodial Fathers Meet the Challenge of Full-Time Parenting

After years of neglect by researchers, therapists, and lawmakers, interest in fathering has come to the forefront. One group of fathers, those raising their children alone following separation or divorce, has more than tripled in the period between 1970 and 1990 according to the Census Bureau.

In this article comparison groups consisting of fathers without custody, fathers in joint custody arrangements, married fathers, widowers, and mothers with custody have been employed to better understand single father families.

The research shows this lifestyle to be a viable one despite the role ambiguity associated with it. Particular areas of difficulties for these fathers are balancing work and child care, reestablishing a social life, and interacting with the court system. Fathers who choose the role tend to have an easier time than those who are forced into it.

The article provides an overview of the topic and discusses the policy, practice, education, and research implications that the literature raises.

Geoffrey L. Greif. Single Fathers with Custody Following Separation and Divorce. Marriage & Family Review Vol. 20 No. 1/2 1995, pp. 213-231. The author is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, Univ. of Maryland at Baltimore, 525 W. Redwood St., Baltimore, MD 21201.

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