Latino Father Involvement in the United States

Aug 2016 | Elizabeth Karberg and Natasha Cabrera

From the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development: Latinos are the fastest growing and largest ethnic group in the United States (U.S.). According to the U.S. Census, Latinos are those people who classified themselves in one of the specific Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino categories listed on the Census 2010 questionnaire ("Mexican," "Puerto Rican", or "Cuban") or of another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin, including from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, or the Dominican Republic. People who identify their origin as Latino may be of any race. It is not surprising, then, that Latinos are highly diverse in country of origin, nativity, socioeconomic status (SES), and immigration experience. As a group, Latinos are, on average, less educated and have lower incomes than their White counterparts. However, compared to other minority men of similar income and education, Latino fathers are more likely to be resident. Despite the rapid rise in nonmarital births among Latinos, most of these births are to parents who live together (cohabiting). That is, most Latino children live in households where fathers are accessible and share in their daily care. In spite of the demographic risks, Latino children also experience protective factors (two-parent households). Thus, examining the role of Latino fathers in children’s lives requires understanding both risk and resilience processes.

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