A Project of the Child Trends News Service Supported by the National Science Foundation

Father Involvement: Passed Down Across Generations?

Fathers Lead to Preschool Success

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire)—According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than one in four children live without a father in the home. Now a new study sheds some light on how father involvement impacts kids from generation to generation.

Research shows children with involved dads do better in school, are less likely to deal drugs, and have better emotional well-being. Now a new study offers even more insights about the impact of father involvement.

Social scientists examined 2,970 U.S. families who participated in the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being study. They found fathers who were involved in their child’s life at age one had kids who reported a better father-child relationship at age nine. Also, the fathers in the study who reported more involvement from their own dads while growing up, had better relationships with their dads and were more involved with their kids at age one, suggesting patterns of father involvement and father-child relationships are passed down across generations.

Fathers in this study were an average of 27 years old. About half were not in romantic relationships with their children’s mothers when their kids were age nine. Also, about a quarter of the dads had never lived with their child since the child’s time of birth.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Writer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

(Sources: https://www.fatherhood.org/fatherhood-data-statistics, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6415916/)

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