Why Father Involvement Matters


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — One out of every three kids in America lives in a home without their biological father present. Many studies focus on how a mother’s involvement in her child’s life affects their brain development, but what about dad?

The science is in and it shows fathers may be just as essential to a child’s development as mothers. Researchers from Australia observed over 3,200 kids and their fathers as they interacted. Then the kids were given a vocabulary test. Researchers found that kids whose fathers spent more time with them had greater gains in cognitive development. The study also suggests the type of activities fathers use to engage with their children matter. So fathers, try reading, playing games, or doing homework with your child; these activities allow kids to exercise their thinking and language skills, which can provide a foundation for future academic success.

On an interesting note, a father’s educational background did not impact the child’s cognitive gains. The important factor was the father’s involvement.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; 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.