Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Social Work

Major Professor

Terri Combs-Orme

Committee Members

Greer Litton Fox Ph.D., William R. Nugent, Ph.D. John G. Orme Ph.D


This study assumes several overarching goals. The first is to bring the social work profession firmly to the table in the discourse on fathering. A second goal of this study is to place the study of fathering in a theoretical framework that aptly acknowledges and accommodates the complexities of the subject. Applying Bronfenbrenner’s (1995) Process-Person-Context-Time model, a third major goal of this study is to examine more closely what fathers themselves say about fathers and fathering and the implications of their perceptions. This study utilizes a subsample of fathers from a large nationally representative data set to test and expand what we have learned from several smaller qualitative studies of fathers. The findings in this study are convergent with those of previous studies, indicating that time together, communication, and affection appear to be important in determining the quality of the father-child relationship.

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Social Work Commons