[I]n my free time, I advise and encourage parents going through divorce to continue to work together. I talk with Moms and Dads who are really struggling to co-parent with one another. Occasionally, I will meet a Mom who tells me she sees no value in her kids spending time with Dad. Or a Mom who will ask me, “Is there any hard evidence that divorce children benefit from seeing their father?”
First and foremost, I fully realize the pain divorce has on relationships. I also can totally personally relate to NOT seeing any benefits in certain situation to a child visiting their other parent. Nevertheless, the purpose of this post is to focus on studies that show positive benefits of divorce children spending time with their fathers.
The Effects of Father Involvement: An Updated Research Summary of the Evidence
There are many studies which support positive evidence of a father’s time with children. Today, let’s turn our attention to Dr. Sarah Allen and Dr. Kerry Daly study of Dads in 2002 and updated again in 2007. This study was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council CURA program. A full copy of this 58 page summary can be found here.
Summary of Reasons Alienating Dad is Bad for Your Kids
- Infants of highly involved fathers, score higher on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, better problem solvers as toddlers and have higher IQ’s by age three.
- School aged children of involved fathers are also better academic achievers.
- Involved fathers have children who are more likely to get A’s, and have better quantitative and verbal skills.
- Children who regularly see Dad, have higher grade point averages, get better achievement test scores, receive superior grades, perform a year above their expected age level on academic tests, learn more and perform better in school.
- Father contact was also associated with better socioemotional and academic functioning in school related areas for children with single adolescent mothers.
- Father involvement is positively correlated with children’s overall life satisfaction and their experience of less depression.
- Children of involved fathers are more likely to have positive peer relations and be popular and well liked. Their peer relations are typified by less negativity, less aggression, less conflict, more reciprocity, more generosity, and more positive friendship.
- No Dad causes four-fold increase in obesity before age 18, more likely to suffer a burn, have a bad fall or be scarred from an accident. More likely to be diagnosed with asthma, and 6 fold increase in the likelihood a child will require an emergency room visits.
- Father involvement protects children from engaging in delinquent behaviour, and is associated with less substance abuse among adolescents, less delinquency, less drug use, truancy, and stealing, and less drinking.
- Adolescents who strongly identified with their fathers were 80% less likely to have been in jail and 75% less likely to become unwed parents, reduces the risk of early sexual activity and pregnancy.
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This report shows more than 100 reasons why children fair better in life by have a regular relationship with their fathers. Moms, despite how you feel about your Ex, don’t alienate or discourage visitation with Dad. Alienating dad is BAD for your kids.
What benefits have you seen with your kids visiting Dad? Dads have you experienced parental alienation?
Featured image from Dollar Photo Club.