Pair of Studies Show Several Ways Dads Make a Difference for Kids


Karla Dial of CitizenLink:

Two studies recently published in scientific journals say that when it comes to parenting, dads really do matter to kids — and in some ways, they may have even more influence than mothers.

According to a meta-analysis of several decades’ worth of parenting studies published in Personality and Social PsychologyReview in May, kids who feel rejected by their fathers show higher rates of behavioral problems, delinquency, depression and substance abuse than those who feel rejected by their mothers. The analysis was conducted by Ronald P. Rohner, Ph.D., a professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut and director of the Ronald and Nancy Rohner Center for the Study of Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection.

Meanwhile, a study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University (BYU) published last week in the Journal of Early Adolescence suggests that children whose fathers use an authoritative parenting style show more persistence than others — regardless of the type of parenting style their mothers use. Persistence, in turn was linked to lower rates of delinquency and greater involvement in school.

“Behavioral problems of kids — substance abuse, depression and overall psychological adjustment of children — tends to be more linked to children’s perception of dad’s rejection than to mother’s,” Rohner said.