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Men who are happy to be fathers have better behaved kids

By Megan Rose

A recent study has unveiled the crucial impact fathers have on their child’s behaviour. The research, which was conducted by Oxford University, found that a man’s attitude towards fatherhood plays a vital role in his child’s behavioural development.

The study, which was based on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (Alspac), questioned men on their feelings on being and becoming a father, as well as whether they enjoyed interacting with their child and what they thought about other parenting styles. It involved 6,300 children and found that those whose dads displayed positive emotions towards fatherhood had less behavioural problems compared to those whose dads hadn’t.

The research found that those fathers who scored higher on feeling more secure in their role as a parent had children whose behavioural difficulties were 11% lower than the average child by the time they reached the ages of nine and 11.

Overall, the results suggest that having a confident parental attitude more positively affects a child’s disposition than maintaining regular involvement in childcare or home activities. (Not that that means dads don't have to help out with either, hopefully! Ed)

Maggie Redshaw, a development and health psychologist at Oxford University and co-author of the research, said: ‘It is the emotional connection and the emotional response to actually being a parent that matters enormously in relation to later outcomes for children.’

Image: Public Domain