By Matt Allen
Another study has reaffirmed the importance of fathers being in their children‘s lives while calling on political change to help promote the benefits children receive from having an involved father.
Fathers who are able to be actively engaged through hands-on parenting can lead to smarter and better behaved children, according to a report from Concordia University.
Compared with other children with absentee dads, kids whose fathers were active parents in early and middle childhood had fewer behavior problems and higher intellectual abilities as they grew older, even among socio-economically at-risk families, according to Erin Pougnet, a Ph.D. candidate in the Concordia University Department of Psychology and a member of the Centre for Research in Human Development (CRDH) in Canada.
“Regardless of whether fathers lived with their children, their ability to set appropriate limits and structure their children’s behavior positively influenced problem-solving and decreased emotional problems, such as sadness, social withdrawal and anxiety,” Pougnet said.
The university said the findings should encourage governments to formulate policies that encourage increased and positive forms of contact between children and their divorced dads.
The paper, “Fathers’ Influence on Children’s Cognitive and Behavioural Functioning: A Longitudinal Study of Canadian Families,” published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, was co-authored by Erin Pougnet, Lisa A. Serbin, Dale M. Stack and Alex E. Schwartzman of Concordia University.