Using a sample of 406 fathers going through the divorce process, path analysis was used to model the pathway of developing parental self-efficacy for these fathers. Four primary variables (initiation of divorce, dating status, hope, and parental self-efficacy) were included in the model with five paths estimated. Initiation of divorce and dating status were found to be significantly related with having initiated the divorce found to increase the log odds of being in a relationship following divorce by 0.692 (p = .002). Next, significant effects of dating status on fathers’ level of hope (β = 1.869, p = .001) were found controlling for the covariates and initiation of divorce. Lastly, increased levels of hope were found to significantly predict increased parental self-efficacy (β = .276, p < .001) when controlling for the effects of initiating divorce and the covariate.
Results of the present study provide a significant pathway to parental self-efficacy for fathers following a divorce. This model highlights significant factors in divorcing fathers’ lives that have the potential to promote positive adjustment and parenting capacity. Of particular interest to intervention efforts is the pathway between hope and parental self-efficacy as hope may be a target for future intervention efforts to increase fathers’ sense of their parenting abilities following divorce. It is likely that as fathers increase in their own parental self-efficacy they are more likely to remain involved in their children’s lives post-divorce. Fathers’ engagement after divorce holds potential to prevent many of the negative impacts children may experience following divorce.