Theses Doctoral

Single Fathers Raising Children Following Separation and Divorce

Greif, Geoffrey Leonard

This dissertation attempts to learn the amount of satisfaction and comfort single custodial fathers feel in different parenting areas and which variables are most highly associated with the father's satisfaction and comfort. A questionnaire was placed in the May-June, 1982 issue of The Single Parent, the membership magazine for Parents Without Partners. This approach yielded a non-representative sample of 1136 fathers with children 18 years old or younger, approximately 15 to 20 percent of the population that was believed to have qualified for the study.

Five different parenting areas were examined. The father must (1) maintain the house and provide child care; (2) feel satisfaction with how the children living with him are progressing; (3) work and balance the demands of child rearing; (4) adjust to being single again; and (5) establish or resolve his relationship with his ex-wife vis-a-vis her involvement with the children. It was hypothesized that the following variables would be associated with either satisfaction or comfort in the five areas: the age, sex, and number of children being raised; the number of years the father had sole custody; the father's income; whether the father sought custody; and the level of involvement of the ex-wife. By using multiple regression, it was found that only one of the seven variables were useful predictors of the father's satisfaction and comfort in the areas. Fathers were more likely to be experiencing satisfaction and comfort if they earned a higher income or if the income earned was felt to be adequate to meet their needs. This variable was also highly associated with the ex-wife's involvement with the children. The father's satisfaction with the child care arrangements made emerged as a significant predictor of their comfort.

It was found that fathers feel satisfaction and comfort with running the household and with their children's progress. The areas involving working while raising the children and adjusting to being single proved more problematical. Fathers were mixed as to their satisfaction with their ex-wives' involvement with the children, though fathers who described their ex-wives as being very involved experienced greater satisfaction in some of the areas explored.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Thesis Advisors
Meyer, Carol H.
Jenkins, Shirley
Whiteman, Martin
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 4, 2015