The Role of the Father in Child Development, Fifth Edition
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The Definitive reference on the important role fathers play in child development today

Edited by Dr. Michael Lamb—the recognized authority on the role of fathers in child development, The Role of the Father in Child Development, Fifth Edition brings together contributions from international experts on each subject to provide a thorough and current summary of the state of fatherhood across cultures, classes, economic systems, and family formations. This classic guide offers a single-source reference for the most recent findings and beliefs related to fathers and fatherhood. This thoroughly updated new edition provides the latest material on topics such as:

  • The effects of divorce
  • Fathers from low-income backgrounds
  • Stepfathers’ lives: exploring social context and interpersonal complexity
  • Social policy
  • Gay fathers
  • Fatherhood and masculinity
The definitive book on when, why, and how fathers matter to their children and families, The Role of the Father in Child Development, Fifth Edition is an essential reference for all mental health professionals who endeavor to understand and support fathers in becoming positive influences in their children’s development.


MICHAEL E. LAMB, PhD, is Professor of Psychology in the Social Sciences, Cambridge University, and has served as head of the Section on Social and Emotional Development at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. His current research is concerned with the evaluation, validation, and facilitation of children’s accounts of sexual abuse; the effects of domestic violence on children’s development; the effects of contrasting patterns of early child care on children and their families; and the description of early patterns of infant care in diverse sociocultural ecologies.


Contributors vii

Preface ix

1 How Do Fathers Influence Children’s Development? Let Me Count the Ways 1
Michael E. Lamb

2 Fatherhood and Masculinity 27
Joseph H. Pleck

3 Paternal Involvement: Revised Conceptualization and Theoretical Linkages with Child Outcomes 58
Joseph H. Pleck

4 The Development and Significance of Father–Child Relationships in Two-Parent Families 94
Michael E. Lamb and Charlie Lewis

5 Fathers, Marriages, and Families: Revisiting and Updating the Framework for Fathering in Family Context 154
E. Mark Cummings, Christine E. Merrilees, and Melissa Ward George

6 Fathers, Children, and Divorce 177
Paul R. Amato and Cassandra Dorius

7 Custody and Parenting Time: Links to Family Relationships and Well-Being After Divorce 201
William V. Fabricius, Sanford L. Braver, Priscila Diaz, and Clorinda E. Velez

8 Fathers in Fragile Families 241
Marcia J. Carlson and Sara S. McLanahan

9 Stepfathers’ Lives: Exploring Social Context and Interpersonal Complexity 270
William Marsiglio and Ramon Hinojosa

10 Fathers From Low-Income Backgrounds: Myths and Evidence 296
Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda and Karen E. McFadden

11 Gay Fathers 319
Susan Golombok and Fiona Tasker

12 Fathering in Japan, China, and Korea: Changing Contexts, Images, and Roles 341
David W. Shwalb, Jun Nakazawa, Toshiya Yamamoto, and Jung-Hwan Hyun

13 Fathers, Families, and Children’s Well-Becoming in Africa 388
A. Bame Nsamenang

14 Fathers’ Roles in Hunter-Gatherer and Other Small-Scale Cultures 413
Barry S. Hewlett and Shane J. Macfarlan

15 Fatherhood in the Context of Immigration 435
Roni Strier and Dorit Roer-Strier

16 Including Fathers in Clinical Interventions for Children and Adolescents 459
Vicky Phares, Ariz Rojas, Idia B. Thurston, and Jessica C. Hankinson

17 Fathers of Children with Developmental Disabilities 486
Elaine E. MacDonald and Richard P. Hastings

18 Father Involvement and Public Policies 517
Natasha J. Cabrera

19 Fathers, Work, and Family Policies in Europe 551
Margaret O’Brien and Peter Moss

20 Changing Policies Regarding Separated Fathers in Australia 578
Patrick Parkinson

Author Index 615

Subject Index 644