The importance of father involvement for adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms.

Chelsie D. Temmen, Lisa J. Crockett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Although much research has highlighted the importance of parents for adolescent well-being, less work has focused on the relations between fathers’ positive involvement and adolescent well-being. Using Pleck’s model of father involvement, this study examined the associations between fathers’ and mothers’ positive involvement behaviors and adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Gender was examined as a potential moderator of these relations. Data came from 52 intact families where the father, mother, and adolescent child (ages 13–17) completed online surveys. Fathers and mothers each reported on their own parenting behaviors (positive engagement activities, warmth/responsiveness, control, indirect care, process responsibility), and adolescents reported their internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Multiple regression analyses indicated that higher levels of paternal positive engagement activities and lower levels of indirect care were related to lower levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms, controlling for all other father involvement behaviors. Additionally, more maternal warmth/responsiveness was related to fewer adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms, controlling for all other mother involvement behaviors. Analyses focusing on each parenting behavior indicated that fathers’ involvement behaviors were not significantly related to either internalizing or externalizing symptoms when controlling for mothers’ corresponding behaviors, but higher levels of maternal warmth/responsiveness and control were associated with fewer adolescent internalizing symptoms when fathers’ corresponding behaviors were controlled. Finally, moderation analyses indicated that fathers play an important role in sons’ adjustment that was not found for daughters. These findings underscore the value of considering multidimensional models of fathers’ positive involvement behaviors and incorporating nontraditional dimensions of parental involvement. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • externalizing symptoms
  • father involvement
  • internalizing symptoms
  • mother involvement
  • parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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