Even with the Best of Intentions: Paternal Involvement and the Theory of Planned Behavior

Publication Year


Journal Article

Implicit in much of the fatherhood discourse is the assumption that if fathers want to take an active role in their children's lives, they could and would do so. While research has highlighted the factors associated with father s' involvement, very few, if any, of these studies have been guided by a theory that accounts for both fathers' involvement intentions and their ability to follow through on those intentions. The theory of planned behavior and its emphasis on attitudes, the beliefs of significant others, and whether one has control over engaging in behavior is a conceptual fit to respond to questions related to the complex nature of paternal involvement. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study, the purpose of this study was to test the utility of the theory of planned behavior in predicting fathers' involvement intentions and reports of involvement. The results revealed that the theory of planned behavior can be useful in examining paternal involvement and should be used in future research to enhance the fatherhood literature.

Family Process