Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Science


Kamala Ramadoss


Actor partner interdependence, Father involvement, Gendered beliefs about parenting, Immigrants, Marital adjustment, Parenting self-efficacy

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


Parenting is codependent and nested within a familial and cultural structure. While parenting research consistently demonstrates more maternal involvement with children, often fathers’ involvement gets little or no attention. One of the major limitations of fathering research is single source data, often comprised of only mothers’ reports of fathers’ involvement. The purpose of this study was to address this gap by examining the nested nature and interdependence of immigrant parents’ marital adjustment, parenting self-efficacy, and beliefs about parental role and, fathers’ involvement. Actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) was applied to examine the actor (intrapersonal or spillover) and partner (interpersonal or crossover) effects. Data were collected from 127 Asian-Indian immigrant parents of 6 to 10 year old children residing in southern parts of the United States. In the single variable APIMs, actor effect pathways for fathers revealed significant effects of marital adjustment, parenting self-efficacy, and parental role beliefs on fathers’ involvement, but only marital adjustment effect on mothers’ reports of father involvement. These findings indicate that father involvement is enhanced when both fathers’ and mothers’ were adjusted in their marriage, when fathers’ feel efficient in their parenting role and had egalitarian beliefs about parenting. Partner effects were found from mothers’ marital adjustment onto fathers’ reports of involvement. Also, fathers’ parenting self-efficacy significantly influenced mothers’ reports of fathers’ involvement. These partner effects reveal that fathers’ involvement depend on how adjusted mothers were in their marriage, and mothers’ perceptions of fathers’ involvement depend on how efficient fathers were in their parenting role.

Keywords: father involvement, immigrants, marital adjustment, parenting self-efficacy, parental role beliefs, and actor-partner interdependence model


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