Psychological Distress, Destructive Conflict, and Parenting among Residential and Nonresidential Fathers

Olena Kopystynska, Melissa A. Barnett, Kay Bradford, J. Scott Crapo, Brian Higginbotham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We utilized the Determinants of Parenting process model to examine correlates of paternal parenting by father’s residential status. Data consisted of fathers (N = 1,784) who participated in a federally funded Responsible Fatherhood program. Study variables were assessed through fathers’ self-reports. Using a structural equation modeling framework, the results of multi-group analyses revealed differences in parenting by father’s residential status. For residential fathers, both psychological distress and destructive conflict related to less nurturance and involvement, and destructive conflict was a mechanism through which psychological distress promoted harsh parenting. Nonresidential fathers were less involved when destructive conflict was present. These findings underscore fathers’ sensitivity to the context of interpersonal relationships and suggest that fatherhood education programs address the needs of both residential and nonresidential fathers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-252
Number of pages24
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023


  • destructive conflict
  • family structure
  • fathers
  • mental health
  • parenting
  • psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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