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Postdoctoral Associate Dr. Paul Robbins is a Co-Author of this article in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.


African American fathers vary in the ways they cope with general and race-related stressors.

A combination of support-seeking and problem-solving was the most common coping pattern among African American fathers.

Intergenerational coping processes include fathers’ responses to their racial stressors and parenting goals for their sons.

African American fathers with varied coping strategies were more involved and engaged in race-related discussions with sons.

Fathers with more avoidant coping strategies were less engaged with their sons.


The current investigation utilizes a profile-oriented methodological approach to identify coping strategies among African American fathers of sons. Additionally, this study examines how identified coping strategies are related to fathers’ parenting practices, generally and in the face of racial discrimination. Four hundred thirty-eight fathers (M = 38.39; SD = 9.86) with sons between the ages of 8 and 17 years of age (M = 12.01; SD = 2.84) participated in this investigation. Latent profile analyses identified 8 distinct coping profiles among African American fathers. Results also indicated that these coping profiles were associated with fathers’ discrimination experiences and parenting practices. High coping fathers (i.e., higher levels across multiple coping dimensions) noted greater experiences with racial discrimination and also reported greater involvement and ethnic-racial socialization with their sons. Fathers with a more avoidant coping strategy indicated less engaged parenting with their sons. Highlighting intergenerational processes, findings have implications for African American fathers’ and sons’ coping assets and adaptation.