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How Much In-Kind Support Do Low-Income Nonresident Fathers Provide? A Mixed Method Analysis

Citation

Kane, Jennifer Buher; Nelson, Timothy J.; & Edin, Kathryn J. (2015). How Much In-Kind Support Do Low-Income Nonresident Fathers Provide? A Mixed Method Analysis. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77(3), 591-611. PMCID: PMC4452028

Abstract

Past child support research has largely focused on cash payments made through the courts (formal support) or given directly to the mother (informal support) almost to the exclusion of a third type: non-cash goods (in-kind support). Drawing on repeated, semistructured interviews with nearly 400 low-income noncustodial fathers, the authors found that in-kind support constitutes about one quarter of total support. Children in receipt of some in-kind support receive, on average, $60 per month worth of goods. Multilevel regression analyses demonstrated that children who are younger and have more hours of visitation as well as those whose father has a high school education and no current substance abuse problem receive in-kind support of greater value. Yet children whose fathers lack stable employment or are Black receive a greater proportion of their total support in kind. A subsequent qualitative analysis revealed that fathers' logic for providing in-kind support is primarily relational and not financial.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12188

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2015

Journal Title

Journal of Marriage and Family

Author(s)

Kane, Jennifer Buher
Nelson, Timothy J.
Edin, Kathryn J.

PMCID

PMC4452028