The Science of Fatherhood: Why Dads Matter

Posted on June 22, 2013

For decades, psychologists and other researchers assumed that the mother-child bond was the most important one in a kid's life. They focused on studying those relationships, and however a child turned out, mom often got the credit — or blame.

Within the last several decades, though, scientists are increasingly realizing just how much dads matter. Just like women, fathers' bodies respond to parenthood, and their parenting style affects their kids just as much, and sometimes more, than mom's.

"We're now finding that not only are fathers influential, sometimes they have more influence on kids' development than moms," said Ronald Rohner, the director of the Center for the Study of Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection at the University of Connecticut.

Fatherhood also leads to declines in testosterone, the "macho" hormone associated with aggressive behavior, according to research published last year in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This change is stronger the more involved a dad is with his baby's care, suggesting that it may reduce a man's risk-taking drive and encourage nurturing and domesticity.

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Category(s):Child Development, Parenting

Source material from Live Science


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