Session: Coparenting in the Absence of Romantic Ties: Highlighting the Experiences of African American Parents (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

113 Coparenting in the Absence of Romantic Ties: Highlighting the Experiences of African American Parents

Friday, January 18, 2019: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Golden Gate 7, Lobby Level (Hilton San Francisco)
Cluster: Race and Ethnicity (R&E)
Symposium Organizer:
Qiana R. Cryer-Coupet, PhD, North Carolina State University
Background Coparenting is defined as the alliance among two or more adults who together share responsibility for a child's care and wellbeing. This can occur within or in the absence of a romantic relationship. Among coparenting scholars, it is believed that biological parents need not be co-resident nor have daily contact with their children to be considered fundamental contributors to the family's coparenting system. While scholars have begun to explore the nature of the coparenting alliance among nonresident parents and those with whom they no longer have or never had romantic ties with, much is unknown and misunderstood about these coparenting relationships. Therefore, using data drawn from both qualitative and mixed methods studies, the purpose of this symposium is to contribute to the sparse scholarly literature regarding the dynamics of African American parenting practices, in the context of coparenting relationships with relatives and ex-romantic partners.

Method Paper One utilized qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with 15 African American fathers. These men were fathers of children living in informal kinship care arrangements with maternal or paternal relatives. Data were coded and analyzed by three team members, two Black women and one Black man, using the rigorous and accelerated data reduction (RaDaR) technique. Paper Two employed semi-structured qualitative interviews with 6 African American families that were engaged in kinship care arrangements. Both caregivers and biological parents were interviewed to better understand the coparenting dynamics present within their coparenting relationships. A phenomenological approach was used to guide analysis. Paper Three utilized a mixed methods approach to explore the impacts of relational dynamics on the involvement levels of African American fathers who were coparenting with ex-romantic partners. The quantitative data(n= 110) was analyzed using multiple regression and canonical correlation analysis. This was followed by a thematic analysis of qualitative semi-structured (n=8) interviews.

Results Paper One highlights findings on fathers' perceptions of the lack of shared decision making in the coparenting relationship with relative caregivers. Paper Two highlights the differences in perception of parental involvement among kinship caregivers and biological parents in the context of coparenting. Paper Three highlights the factors that contribute to strains within the coparenting relationship among African American nonresident fathers and their non-romantic partners.

Implications Coparenting data from African American parents' perspectives and data on coparenting in the context of kinship care are only scarcely available. Collectively, these papers advance the scientific knowledge base on family dynamics from the perspective of African American parents and the non-romantic partners with whom they share child rearing responsibilities. Implications for social work intervention, policy, and practice are discussed.

* noted as presenting author
Dimensions of Parental Involvement Among African American Kinship Care Families
Tyreasa Washington, PhD, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Quenette Walton, PhD, University of Houston; Kenya Downing, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Tamika Smith, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
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