Toward a Fuller Understanding of Nonresident Father Involvement: A Joint Examination of Child Support and In-Kind Support Receipt.

April 2007

Steven Garasky, Susan D. Stewart, Craig Gundersen, and Brenda J. Lohman, Iowa State University.

Download 'working_paper07-12.pdf'.


Whereas less than half of all custodial parents receive child support payments, nearly 60% receive in-kind (i.e., noncash) support of some form. Based on a sample of children with nonresident fathers from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Development Supplement, this study investigates the determinants of in-kind support receipt from nonresident fathers. Bivariate relationships indicate children from families that receive child support are more likely to receive in-kind support than children who do not. Additionally, children with more involved fathers as measured in terms of visitation quantity and quality are more likely to receive both child support and in-kind support. Multivariate analyses, however, show that the receipt of child support and in-kind support are not significantly related after controlling for other factors, and that visitation is associated with greater receipt of in-kind support, but not child support. The effects of visitation on in-kind support receipt vary by the aspect of visitation considered, by the type of in-kind support examined, and by the income level of the child’s household. Encouraging involvement by nonresident fathers in the lives of their children may have economic benefits but these benefits may be in the form of in-kind support rather than child support.

Child Support, Disadvantaged Males and Fatherhood