Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Fred L. Adair


The purpose of this study was to investigate differences, if any, in the psychological characteristics of separated and/or divorced non-custodial fathers involved in child custody litigation. Three groups of fathers were investigated and delineated by length of time involved in litigation. Psychological characteristics examined included self-concept, affective states, depression, locus of control, and parental attitudes of confidence, causation, acceptance, understanding, and trust.;The sample of the population used in this study was 49 volunteers obtained from such sources as counselors, attorneys, and support and advocacy groups.;The specific variables proposed were investigated using discriminant function analysis with the direct method. No significant discriminant function was derived on any of the variables as indicated by chi-square (x{dollar}\sp2{dollar} {dollar}\{lcub}{dollar}18{dollar}\{rcub}{dollar}, 10.6, p {dollar}>{dollar}.05).;The results of this study suggest that litigating and non-litigating non-custodial fathers are much healthier than current literature based on observation, and not empirical data, suggests.;Further study is needed on non-custodial fathers and their ability to nurture. In addition, studies concerning loss and the effects of loss for non-custodial fathers is also needed. There is such a paucity of empirical data on non-custodial fathers that any study conducted on this group could only add to our knowledge of these parents.



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