Are Separated Fathers’ More Satisfied with Their Life If They Spend Much Time with Their Children or If They Are Re-Partnered?

Zsuzsanna Makay, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute
Zsolt Speder, HDRI

Our aim is to compare the life-satisfaction of fathers in „traditional” families (couple and biological children living in the same household) to that of separated fathers. Among the latter we distinguish those who have the custody of their children and those who don’t have it and live in different household arrangements (alone, re-partnered, re-partnered with children, etc.) and we built different logistic regression models to explain life-satisfaction. For fathers who don’t have custody of their children we take into account the frequency of contacts, time elapsed since separation and geographical distance.

The motivation of our research is to clarify some of these relations and to come up with a Central-European example in the subject of separated fathers’ life-satisfaction. The two main research questions are: 1) how does the relation with their children influence the life-satisfaction of separated fathers? 2) How does a new relationship after separation alter life satisfaction of fathers having minor children?

We use the fourth wave of Hungarian Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) and make use of the panel data, but also of a cross-sectional sample which was added to the survey in 2012. We study all in all almost 2.000 fathers of which a quarter has separated and has minor children.

Presented in Session 52: Fathers Involvement in Childrearing