The Effects Of FatherFULLness


– According to a Gallup Poll, 90.3 percent of Americans agree that
“fathers make a unique contribution to their children’s lives.”

Source: Gallup Poll, 1996. National Center for Fathering. “Father Figures.”

Fathers Graph
Source: The National Commission on Children. “Speaking of Kids: A National
Survey of Children and Parents.” Washington, DC, 1991.

– Father involvement makes a difference in kids’ emotional lives. From a study based on 17,000 children born in the United Kingdom in 1958 who were followed up with at ages 7, 11, 16, 23 and 33:

  • Children with involved fathers have less emotional and behavioral difficulties in adolescence
  • Teenagers who feel close to their fathers in adolescence go on to have more satisfactory adult marital relationships.
  • Girls who have a strong relationship with their fathers during adolescence showed a lack of psychological distress in adult life.

Source: Dr. Eirini Flouri & Ann Buchanan, “Involved Fathers Key for Children,” Economic & Social Research Council, March 2002.

– A study on parent-infant attachment found that fathers who were
affectionate, spent time with their children, and overall had a positive
attitude were more likely to have securely attached infants.

Source: Cox, M.J. et al. “Prediction of Infant-Father and Infant-Mother Attachment.”
Developmental Psychology 28 (1992): 474-483.

– A study assessing the level of adaptation of one-year olds found
that, when left with a stranger, children whose fathers were highly
involved were less likely to cry, worry, or disrupt play than other
one-year olds whose fathers were less involved.

Source: Kotelchuk, M. “The Infant’s Relationship to His Father: Experimental Evidence.”
Chapter in The Role of the Father in Child Development by Michael Lamb. 2nd ed. New
York: Wiley, 1981.

– Father-child interaction has been shown to promote a child’s physical
well-being, perceptual abilities, and competency for relatedness with
others, even at a young age.

Source: Krampe, E.M. and P.D. Fairweather. “Father Presence and Family Formation: A
theoretical Reformulation.” Journal of Family Issues 14.4 (December 1993): 572-591.

– A survey of over 20,000 parents found that when fathers are involved
in their children’s education including attending school meetings and
volunteering at school, children were more likely to get A’s, enjoy
school, and participate in extracurricular activities and less likely to have
repeated a grade.

Source: Fathers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools. National Center for Education
Statistics. Washington DC: GPO, 1997.

– Using nationally representative data on over 2,600 adults born in the
inner city, it was found that children who lived with both parents were
more likely to have finished high school, be economically self-sufficient,
and to have a healthier life style than their peers who grew up in a
broken home.

Source: Hardy, Janet B. et al. “Self Sufficiency at Ages 27 to 33 Years: Factors Present
between Birth and 18 Years that Predict Educational Attainment Among children Born to
Inner-city Families.” Pediatrics 99 (1997): 80-87.

– In a 26-year longitudinal study on 379 individuals, researchers found
that the single most important childhood factor in developing empathy
is paternal involvement. Fathers who spent time alone with their kids
performing routine childcare at least two times a week, raised children
who were the most compassionate adults.

Source: Koestner, Richard, Carol Franz, and Joel Weinberger. “The Family Origins of
Empathic Concern: A Twenty-Six Year Longitudinal study.” Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology 58 (1990): 709-717.