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Accounts of Single-fatherhood: A case study
Unformatted Document Text:  SINGLE FATHERS 4 almost always maternal versus paternal (Bauserman, 2002). In terms of joint custody, Bauserman proposed that two types of joint custody exist: (a) joint physical custody, and (b) joint legal custody. Joint physical custody indicates ongoing physical contact by both parents in the child’s life. Joint legal custody involves joint decision-making and continuous active involvement by both parents in the child’s life, although the child’s residence might primarily rest with one of the parents (Bauserman, 2002). The literature indicates that the absence of a father in a child’s life can have detrimental effects on children of both sexes. In a study examining numerous national samples, findings indicated that the lack of father input in a child’s life adversely affects school achievement, eventual unemployment problems for the males and early pregnancy for the females (McLanahan, 1999). Griffiths (1999) argued that men who become single-fathers after a relationship dissolution or divorce must cope with a variety of obstacles. First, men who seek single- fatherhood must deal with the challenges aroused by judges’ or the court-systems’ view of single-fatherhood. Thus, men find themselves in a position of having to make a case for their adequacy and ability as the custodial parent. In an extensive meta-analytic review of joint- versus sole-custody arrangements, Bauserman (2002) found that children who experienced joint physical or legal custody experienced better adjustment than children who were in sole-custody situations. Bauserman surmised that continued contact and interaction with both parents was advantageous to the child. These findings suggest that in addition to contact with the mother, contact with the father is positive for the child’s well-being. When single-fatherhood is addressed, the focus is often on the father’s socio-economic status rather than his engagement in interaction and nurturance with the child. For example, in

Authors: Emmers-Sommer, Tara., Rhea, David., Triplett, Laura. and O'Neill, Bell.
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SINGLE FATHERS
4
almost always maternal versus paternal (Bauserman, 2002). In terms of joint custody, Bauserman
proposed that two types of joint custody exist: (a) joint physical custody, and (b) joint legal
custody. Joint physical custody indicates ongoing physical contact by both parents in the child’s
life. Joint legal custody involves joint decision-making and continuous active involvement by
both parents in the child’s life, although the child’s residence might primarily rest with one of the
parents (Bauserman, 2002).
The literature indicates that the absence of a father in a child’s life can have detrimental
effects on children of both sexes. In a study examining numerous national samples, findings
indicated that the lack of father input in a child’s life adversely affects school achievement,
eventual unemployment problems for the males and early pregnancy for the females
(McLanahan, 1999).
Griffiths (1999) argued that men who become single-fathers after a relationship
dissolution or divorce must cope with a variety of obstacles. First, men who seek single-
fatherhood must deal with the challenges aroused by judges’ or the court-systems’ view of
single-fatherhood. Thus, men find themselves in a position of having to make a case for their
adequacy and ability as the custodial parent. In an extensive meta-analytic review of joint- versus
sole-custody arrangements, Bauserman (2002) found that children who experienced joint
physical or legal custody experienced better adjustment than children who were in sole-custody
situations. Bauserman surmised that continued contact and interaction with both parents was
advantageous to the child. These findings suggest that in addition to contact with the mother,
contact with the father is positive for the child’s well-being.
When single-fatherhood is addressed, the focus is often on the father’s socio-economic
status rather than his engagement in interaction and nurturance with the child. For example, in


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