This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Association between Discrimination Concerns and Father Involvement: The Role of Accessibility and Racial Socialization




Smith, Joelle

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Human Development and Family Studies


In the United States, the number of children under 18 living in a mother-only household has steadily increased since the 1960s. As single-parent households have become more common, father involvement research has turned its lens to nonresident fathers. Previous research, however, has primarily focused on White married fathers, making it necessary to examine Black nonresident fathers. Using the human ecological framework, the current study examined the relationship between Black fathers’ social environment, specifically discrimination, and their parenting practices. First, a mediation model examined the indirect effects of fathers’ discussions of racial socialization with their children on the relationship between fathers’ discrimination concerns and involvement with their children. Results showed an indirect positive effect of discrimination concerns on father involvement through discussions of race and discrimination. Second, a moderation model was fit to test whether fathers’ accessibility moderates the relationship between discrimination concerns and father involvement. Results showed no moderating effects, however there was a direct positive effect of accessibility on father involvement. The current study provides four key contributions to the existing father involvement literature by exploring the parenting experiences of ethnic minority fathers, illustrating unique fathering roles of ethnic minority fathers, developing and testing a theoretical model, and promoting theory development and identifying mediators of involvement that can be used in future research.