Involved fathers key for children

March 01, 2002

Girls whose fathers are involved in their upbringing are less likely to have mental health problems in later life whilst good father relations can prevent boys from getting into trouble with the police says new research released during National Science Week 2002 which runs from 8 -17 March.

'Good father-child relationships are associated with an absence of emotional and behavioural difficulties in adolescence and greater academic motivation too' say Dr Eirini Flouri and Ann Buchanan co authors of the research. 'Teenagers who have grown up feeling close to their fathers in adolescence also go on to have more satisfactory adult marital relationships' she adds.

The ESRC funded research at the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford aimed to discover whether it could back up previous US research showing positive outcomes for children whose fathers were more 'involved' in their care. 'An involved father is one who reads to his child, takes outings with his child, is interested in the child's education and takes an equal role in managing his child' explains Dr Flouri. 'That does not necessarily mean that he lives with the child's mother or is even the biological father of the child' she adds.

The research also shows that a good relationship with the father or father figure can also protect against adolescent psychological problems in families where the parents have separated. 'There was a particularly strong association between father involvement with daughters during adolescence and a lack of psychological distress in adult life' says Dr Flouri. 'For boys who have involved fathers it was quite marked that they were less likely to be in trouble with the police as they grew older' she adds.

The study also showed that early father involvement is associated with continuing involvement throughout childhood and adolescence. 'At different ages fathers relate to their children in different ways but the underlying concept of father involvement is a continuous one' says Dr Buchanan. 'Generally speaking the higher the father's level of educational attainment the more 'involved' he was with his children' she adds.

Other key findings of the research included:

· Father involvement at age 7 is strongly related to children's later educational attainment

· Father involvement protects against adult experience of homelessness in sons of manual workers

The study was based on 17,000 children who were born in the UK in 1958 and who were followed up at ages 7, 11, 16, 23 and 33. 'The research has wide implications for work life balance questions. Since father time is clearly so important for children it is obvious that they need to become involved early in a child's life. It also raises issues about whether health education and other services involved with families could become more 'father friendly' says Dr Buchanan.

Economic & Social Research Council

Related Education Articles from Brightsurf:

Applying artificial intelligence to science education
A new review published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching highlights the potential of machine learning--a subset of artificial intelligence--in science education.

Dementia education
School-based dementia education could deliver much needed empathy and understanding for older generations as new research from the University of South Australia shows it can significantly improve dementia knowledge and awareness among younger generations.

How can education researchers support education and public health and institutions during COVID-19?
As education researchers' ongoing work is interrupted by school closures, what can they do to support education and public health institutions dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic?

Online education platforms could scale high-quality STEM education for universities
Online and blended (online and in-person) STEM instruction can produce the same learning outcomes for students as traditional, in-person classes at a fraction of the cost, finds research published today in Science Advances.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

The new racial disparity in special education
Racial disparity in special education is growing, and it's more complex than previously thought.

Education may be key to a healthier, wealthier US
A first-of-its-kind study estimate the economic value of education for better health and longevity.

How education may stave off cognitive decline
Prefrontal brain regions linked to higher educational attainment are characterized by increased expression of genes involved in neurotransmission and immunity, finds a study of healthy older adults published in JNeurosci.

Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.

Individual education programs not being used as intended in special education
Gone are the days when students with disabilities were placed in a separate classroom, or even in a completely different part of the school.

Read More: Education News and Education Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to