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Many Low Income Fathers Pay Child Support -- But In A Different Way

A new study at Johns Hopkins University sheds a more positive light on "deadbeat dads." Although many fathers are not required to pay child support after divorce, the study shows that almost half of low-income fathers spend between $48 - $84 a month on gifts for their children.

Almost half give their children gifts

The research project studied 367 fathers in Philadelphia, Austin and Charleston who did not have custody of their children. About 46 percent of the fathers gave their children an average of $60 a month in necessities such as food, clothing, childcare, and baby supplies, and gifts. Most of the men in the study did not like giving just money. But even low-income men are supporting their children in other important ways.

Some of the gifts provided by fathers included baby cribs and strollers, diapers and baby formula for very young children. Older children were supported with gifts such as clothing and shoes, school supplies and even paid for after-school programs.

More visitation = more gifts

Another interesting fact revealed by the study is that fathers who spend more time with their children are more likely to spend the most on gifts for them. Fathers who spent 10 hours or more visiting their children each month also spent the most on gifts at an average of $84 a month, while fathers who did not visit their children spent about $48 a month on gifts for them. As Professor Kathryn Edin, co-author of the study explained, “We need to respect what these guys are doing, linking love and provision in a way that’s meaningful to the child."

To read more, visit www.newsweek.com/low-income-dads-more-likely-give-gifts-not-money-345409

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