Effect of Low-Income Unmarried Fathers’ Presence at Birth on Involvement




Jennifer L. Bellamy, Matthew Thullen, and Sydney Hans

Brief Type

Journal publication



The birth of a child represents a unique window of opportunity to understand and support ongoing father involvement among low-income unmarried parents. Using data collected as part of a randomized controlled trial of a community-based home visiting intervention provided to 248 low-income African American women, a propensity score matching approach was used to estimate the effect of fathers’ presence at birth on multiple measures of later father involvement over the first 2 years postpartum. The results indicated that participation in child care activities is the only form of involvement predicted by presence at birth at 4 months, and none of the forms of father involvement measured were predicted at 12 months; however, presence at birth was predictive of all 7 indicators of involvement at 24 months. Engaging fathers in the birth experience may represent an important opportunity to provide services. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Interviews
  • Program administrative record reviews



For More Information

Bellamy, J. L., Thullen, M., & Hans, S. (2015). Effect of low‐income unmarried fathers' presence at birth on involvement. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77(3), 647-661. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12193
Author Contact Information:
Jennifer L. Bellamy


  • Participant Characteristics
  • Participant Recruitment, Retention, Engagement, and Dosage