When we’ve visited you, we’ve interviewed your parents or guardians living with you. However, a number of study members don’t live with both their parents, for example where parents are divorced or separated. In the vast majority of these cases, study members are living with their mothers but not their fathers.
Studies like ours have always struggled to keep fathers involved once they’ve left the family home. In the early days of CNC, we attempted to include those fathers who were not living with their children full-time. In advance of the Age 5 Survey, we carried out a pilot study with children who had fathers living elsewhere. We asked these fathers to complete a questionnaire, but unfortunately less than 14 per cent responded. The numbers were too low to be representative of the wider population of non-resident fathers, and would likely result in an unbalanced and even misleading picture of the involvement of these fathers in their children’s lives. For this reason, we decided we would not interview non-resident fathers as part of the study.
However, we recognise that many non-resident fathers play an important role in their children’s lives. We have tried to gather information as best we can about all fathers not living in the home. While you were growing up, we asked your mothers a range of questions about your father’s involvement in your upbringing, and we asked you about your relationships with both parents.