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The Importance of Fathers
What the Research Says
- Cognitive abilities
- General health and well-being
Health and Well-Being
What the Research Means
- Take time. Do not be to busy to spend time with your child. You may have to give up something, but it will be worth your time.
- Listen. And do so without lecturing or being judgmental. Nonstop lecturing may cause alienation.
- Be a role model.What you say has an effect on your child's development and perception. What you do has a bigger impact.
- Respect the mother.Always. It provides security and a good example for current and future relationships.
- Show affection.Replace your anger and impatience with love, or show it during play. It helps with development and security.
- Be there. Fatherhood is a full-time job. Show up at events, eat dinner together, play, or quietly read a book. Your child notices your presence and your absence.
Administration for Children and Families http://www.acf.dhhs.gov
National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) http://www.fatherhood.org
Canadian Mental Health Association http://www.ontario.cmha.ca
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org
The importance of fathers in the healthy development of children. Child Welfare Information Gateway website. Available at: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/fatherhood/. AccessedJanuary 31, 2013.
Blanz B, Geisel B, Laucht M, et al. Role of the father in development of school-age children. Results of an epidemiologic study. Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr. 1986;14:5-31.
East L, Jackson D, O'Brien L. Father absence and adolescent development: a review of the literature. J Child Health Care. 2006;10(4):283-295.
Henderson J. On fathering (the nature and functions of the father role). Part II: Conceptualization of fathering. Can J Psychiatry. 1980;25:413-431.
Jaffee SR, Moffitt TE, Caspi A, et al. Life with (or without) father: the benefits of living with two biological parents depend on the father’s antisocial behavior. Child Development. 2003;74:109-126.
Marshall DB, English DJ, Stewart AJ. The effects of fathers or father figures on child behavioral problems in families referred to child protective services. Child Maltreat. 2001;6:290-299.
Promoting responsible fatherhood. US Department of Health and Human Services website: Available at: http://fatherhood.hhs.gov/index.shtml. Updated July 21, 2012. Accessed January 31, 2013.
Sarkadi A, kristiansson R, Oberklaid F, et al. Fathers' involvement and children's developmental outcomes: a systematic review of longitudinal studies. Acta Paediatr. 2008;97(2):153-158.
The awesome dad cheat sheet: 18 fatherhood tips they should've handed out at the delivery room. Art of Manliness website. Available at: http://artofmanliness.com/2008/08/03/18-tips-for-being-a-great-dad/. Accessed January 31, 2013.
Weitoft GR, Hjern A, Haglund B, et al. Mortality, severe morbidity, and injury in children living with single parents in Sweden: a population-based study. The Lancet. 2003;361:289-295.
- Reviewer: Theodor B. Rais MD
- Review Date: 01/2013
- Update Date: 01/31/2013