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Study Reveals Emotionally Involved Fathers have Happier Children


father child bondingRecent study from Oxford University reveals that a dad's emotional attachment and strong bond with his child has the most significant effect on a child’s behavior. Children of emotionally-involved fathers are almost 28% less likely to suffer from behavioral problems in their tweens. 

The study also showed that fathers who consistently gave emotional support to the mothers also influenced their children's positive behavior. Dads who are more confident with their parenting skills also tend to have a stronger connection with their family.

According to Maggie Redshaw, Ph.D., developmental and health psychologist at Oxford and co-author of research, "It is the emotional connection and the emotional response to actually being a parent that matters enormously in relation to later outcomes for children.”

The study is based on a sample size of almost 10,500 kids between 8 to 10 years old who were living with both their parents. The parents answered a questionnaire about their and their child’s mental health, their attitudes to parenting, time spent on childcare, and child behavior and development.

"Positive parenting by fathers may contribute to good outcomes in children in a number of ways. Involved fathers may influence children indirectly by being a source of instrumental and emotional support to mothers who provide more of the direct care for children. The potential positive effect of this on mothers’ well-being and parenting strategies may then lead to better outcomes in children," said Jane Kirby, The Huffington Post’s press association health editor.

Also, researchers claimed that greater paternal involvement may also lead to a happy and cohesive family, which may bring better outcomes in children.

The chances that children will grow up to be well-adjusted are always higher when both mom and dad are emotionally-invested in the family. Which is understandable since parents are the children’s first reference especially in terms of character development. Children tend to mimic what they see and copy it.