When Sons Become Fathers: Examining Patterns of Fathering across Generations

Christina Diaz, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The transfer of resources and beliefs from parents to children plays a central role in the persistence of inequality in the United States. Scholars have documented parent-child similarity across a number of characteristics, including socioeconomic status, health, and divorce. However, research examining the parenting practices among fathers and their adult sons remains nascent. Using data from the ECLS-B, I consider if paternal behaviors in the first generation influence perceptions and stress associated with fatherhood in the second generation. Preliminary results indicate that warmer fathering practices in the first generation are associated with less paternal stress in the second generation. Those with warm fathers are also more likely to report being good fathers themselves. Additional analyses compare men's paternal stress and perceptions for those with and without fathers. This research sheds light on the significance of men's role in families, child well-being, and how life trajectories are shaped by previous generations.

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Presented in Poster Session 2