Religious Variability in the Relationship Between Masculinity and Father Involvement


family, fathering, masculinity, religiosity


While traditional masculinity and fathering behaviors are seemingly associated, few studies have considered the conditions under which masculine norms may influence fathers’ behavior. Religiosity is an important factor to consider, given its association with both the endorsement of traditional gender attitudes and father involvement. This paper addresses the independent effects of traditional masculine norms and religiosity on fathering behaviors and considers whether religiosity moderates the relationship between masculinity and men's parenting behaviors. Using a national sample of fathers with children aged 2–17 in the United States, the results suggest that masculinity is negatively associated with father involvement, while religiosity is positively associated with father involvement. Yet, both highly masculine and highly religious fathers are more likely to engage in harsh discipline. Moreover, results suggest that religiosity attenuates the negative relationship between masculinity and active father involvement, while exacerbating the positive relationship between masculinity and harsh punishment.

Original Publication Citation

Shafer, K., Petts, R.J., & Renick, A.J.* (2019). “Religious Variability in the Relationship Between Masculinity and Father Involvement.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 58(2): 378-397.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor