father, adolescent, parenting, closeness, path analysis


Father-adolescent child relationship quality has been identified as key to adolescent health outcomes. While factors have previously been identified associated with father-adolescent closeness, a comprehensive model of understanding the influence of these factors is needed. Using cross-sectional data from the Study of Contemporary Fatherhood (SCF), this analysis of father-adolescent relationship closeness evaluated responses of nine hundred (N = 900) father surveys to investigate historical factors, including own father relationship quality, biological fathering, family transitions, and ACEs along with current factors, including co-parenting, depression, parenting stress, knowledge of adolescent, warmth, and engagement, on father-adolescent relationship closeness. Path analysis results indicate that father-adolescent relationship closeness was found to be positively associated with current factors, including co-parenting (p = .005), parenting stress (p = .008), parent depression (p = .004), parent knowledge of adolescent (p < .001), and warmth (p < .001), but not parent engagement. Historical factors, including ACEs, family transitions, family of origin biological father, and own father relationship quality, were not significant predictors of father-adolescent closeness. Implications of this study include the importance of current familial factors on promoting father-adolescent relationship closeness, particularly in family interventions for fathers.

Original Publication Citation

Trahan, M.H., Morley, R.H. & Shafer, K. Father-Adolescent Relationship Closeness: A Path Analysis of Family Factor Associates with Father-Adolescent Engagement and Relationship Quality. Child Adolesc Soc Work J (2020).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor