McCaig, J. L., Stolz, H. E., Reimnitz, S. J., Baumgardner, M., & Renegar, R. G. (2021). Determinants of Paternal Engagement: Investigating Low-Income Fathers’ Caregiving, Play, and Verbal Engagement With Infants. Journal of Family Issues, 0192513X211031515.

Extant research highlights the importance of early paternal engagement for children and families. Thus, there is strong support for the exploration of predictors of low-income father engagement. Informed by Belsky’s process model of parenting, this study explores contextual determinants of father–infant engagement (i.e., verbal engagement, physical play, and caregiving) including the unique contributions of the child, the father, and the broader social context. We utilized survey data from a sample of 183 non-residential, cohabitating, and married low-income fathers of infants participating in a home-visiting intervention. Results demonstrated that infant age was associated with increased caregiving and verbal engagement, fathers’ total work hours were negatively correlated with verbal engagement, fathers’ depressive symptoms were linked to increased physical play, and the quality of the coparenting alliance was related to physical play and caregiving. Findings may inform programs designed to promote paternal engagement during infancy.