Racial Identity, Father Involvement, and Coparenting in Adolescent African American Mothers and Fathers

Colleen M. Varga, Christina B. Gee


Adolescent childbearing is a major public policy concern in the United States, and father involvement is a particular focus for researchers and members of socioeconomically disadvantaged and minority populations. In the present study, 52 low-income, African American adolescent mothers and their children’s fathers were interviewed during the prenatal period about their relationships, social networks, and racial identity. Coparenting was found to be associated with racial identity in that mothers and fathers who reported pre-encounter racial identity attitudes reported lower levels of coparenting satisfaction than mothers and fathers in the more advanced stages of racial identity. No associations were found between racial identity and father involvement. This study extends the literature on coparenting, father involvement and racial identity to a community sample of understudied young parents at risk for negative outcomes.

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