Role of Social Networks Among Low-Income Fathers

Nov 2016 | Angela Valdovinos D'Angelo, Emily Knas, Pamela Holcomb, and Kathryn Edin

From Mathematica Policy Research: Social networks are important in everyone’s life. Connections to family, friends, and organizations can enhance a person’s well-being by providing emotional support and facilitating access to needed resources, such as housing, financial assistance, or links to jobs. According to a new study by Mathematica Policy Research, low-income fathers who participated in qualitative interviews for the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation lack robust social networks, reporting an average of only five core ties with friends and family members—far below the national average of 23 core ties. These and other findings drawn from the qualitative component of the PACT evaluation reveal the composition and function of social networks among fathers who participated in four Responsible Fatherhood programs, as well as the types of organizational supports they turn to for assistance.

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