In a 2005 academic paper titled Beyond Economic Fatherhood, Solangel Maldonado examines the correlation between financial support and father involvement:
Even if it is true that what matters is economic support and not paternal involvement per se, absent fathers are still a cause for concern because fathers who maintain significant contact with their children after divorce are more likely to pay child support than fathers who do not maintain contact. Children whose fathers pay child support generally experience fewer emotional and behavioral problems than children whose fathers do not. Although the federal and state governments spend billions of dollars each year to enforce child support awards, their efforts have been only marginally successful. Thus, society and the government may wish to consider encouraging paternal involvement as it may lead to the payment of child support.
Children consistently report that they wish they had more contact with their fathers and that they feel abandoned when their fathers are not involved in their lives. Thus, independent of any correlation between paternal disengagement and children’s educational, social, and behavioral development, children’s emotional well-being in and of itself may be sufficient reason to encourage paternal contact. Unfortunately, because society and the law have traditionally treated fathers as primarily economic providers, paternal disengagement has not been perceived as a cause for alarm.