This study examined (1) the bi-directional relationships among father’s parenting stress, father’s use of harsh discipline, and children’s behavior problems across child ages 3, 5, and 9 years old; and (2) how the importance fathers placed on their fathering identities (identity centrality) influenced these relationships. The study utilized data from 1169 father-child dyads who were involved in the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being study (FFCWB). Fathers and their children were included in the study sample if the father was identified by the biological mother as residing in the household with the child during at least two timepoints between child ages 3, 5, and 9 years old. Fathers’ identity centrality was assessed through six self-report survey question items asking fathers to indicate how important they felt it was for them to engage in fathering behaviors. Fathers’ parenting stress, fathers’ use of harsh discipline, and children’s behavior problems were measured at child ages three, five, and nine years old. Structural equation models were used to examine the hypothesized paths. Paths between fathering identity centrality and fathers’ parenting stress, harsh discipline, and child behavior were non-significant. No significant bi-directional paths emerged between fathers’ parenting stress, harsh discipline, and children’s behavior problems. However, significant unidirectional associations were found across child ages 5-9 years old. Fathers’ parenting stress was associated with an increase in fathers’ use of harsh discipline (ß’s = .132 -.152, p’s = .006 - .012), more child aggressive behavior was related to greater parenting stress (ß = .142, p = .007), and more anxious-depressed behaviors were related to fathers’ subsequent use of less harsh discipline (ß = -.148, p = .009). Fathers’ earliest preconceptions of the importance of their roles as fathers may not be particularly influential; however, research should examine this relationship using validated measures of the fathering identity. Additionally, the father-child dynamic may be more saliently influenced by child behavior problems, although fathers’ parenting stress may promote subsequent use of harsh discipline. Given that fathers receive limited focus in parenting literature, future studies should examine other father-child behaviors and characteristics may interact to impact the father-child dynamic.