Why postdivorce fathers do not have contact to their children. A case study from Austria

Mariam Irene Tazi-Preve, University of Vienna
Markus Kaindl, Vienna University of Technology

Our research is allocated within the context of „gender and demography“, selecting fatherhood as a central theme of population sciences and focusing on the „other side of the coin“of the couple, namely on fatherhood. Studies on fertility and family tend to be mainly concerned with examining women’s behaviour, and demographic research has only begun to draw its attention towards social fatherhood in the past few years.The disengagement phenomenon in the father-child-relationship is well documented in Anglo-American literature, especially for the nineties. The lack of studies on noncustodial fathers without contact to their children in German-speaking countries motivated us to examine this group in an Austrian case study. The leading research question of this contribution focuses on measuring the phenomenon and characterizing fathers who face a total break off in the relationship with their children; furthermore, we attempt to uncover possible causes and motives for these “individual dramas”. The discussion of the theoretical background is followed by the description of the statistical material used, and of the method applied using univariate and multivariate statistics.The findings show significant results concerning the time elapsed after a divorce and the distance between the fathers' and their offspring's places of residence.

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Presented in Poster Session 1