Father Involvement and Early Intervention: Effects of Empowerment and Father Role Identity

Sep 2015 | Greer L. Fox, Vey M. Nordquist, Rhett M. Billen and Emily Furst Savoca

Abstract: The family-centered service delivery model used in early intervention is meant to empower families of children with disabilities. The present analysis examined the effects of empowerment and father identity on father involvement with children with disabilities. Father involvement was measured using three indices: attachment (i.e., feeling a strong connection to the child), engagement (i.e., participating in activities with the child), and responsibility (i.e., meeting the child's needs). Father empowerment and father identity, measured as salience, satisfaction, and reflected appraisals, consistently predicted higher levels of father involvement in hierarchical regression models. In addition, mediation analyses revealed that father identity partially mediated the relationship between empowerment and father involvement. These findings support the family-centered service delivery model and suggest that it may be able to improve the lives of children with disabilities by enhancing father role identity and subsequent fathering activities. 



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