ABSTRACT

Although substantial evidence supports the importance offathers in children's development (Lamb & Tamis-LaMonda, 2004), many questions remain about the specific pathways through which fathering contributes to children's relationships in families, particularly in the early school years. Children are known to be affected by fathering in the context of the marital relationship in this age period; for example, deficits in the interparental relationship are known to cause strain on the father-child relationship and negatively affect children's emotional security about the stability of the family (Cowan & Cowan, 2009 ; Cummings, Goeke-Morey, & Raymond, 2004 ; Goeke -Morey & Cummings, 2007) . The fathering framework for understanding the impact of fathers in the family context further suggests that in addition to these indirect processes, fathers also impact children directly. Fathering may have a direct effect as a function of the impact of specific dimensions of father-child relations on children's attachment (Owen & Cox, 1997) although the implications for children's security in parent-child relationships beyond infancy are surprisingly rarely examined (Lamb & Tamis -LaMonda, 2004) .