Paternity Leave, Father Involvement, and Parental Conflict: The Moderating Role of Religious Participation

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Petts, Richard J.
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paternity leave
religious participation
father involvement
parental conflict
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Numerous studies show that taking paternity leave is associated with increased father involvement. However, fewer studies have explored contextual factors that may increase (or diminish) the likelihood that paternity leave-taking provides benefits to families. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, this study examines the associations between paternity leave, fathers’ religious participation, father involvement, and parental conflict, and whether fathers’ religious participation moderates the associations between paternity leave, father involvement, and parental conflict. Results suggest that paternity leave-taking, length of paternity leave, and fathers’ religious participation are associated with increased father involvement but are unrelated to parental conflict. Results also suggest that religious participation may enhance the association between paternity leave and family outcomes; paternity leave-taking and length of paternity leave are only associated with lower levels of parental conflict among families in which fathers attend religious services frequently. Moreover, fathers who take leave and attend religious services frequently are more likely to be involved with their child than fathers who take leave but do not attend religious services.