Oxford study: Loving fathers’ involvement vital to good behavioral development of infant

A study carried from Oxford University has found that fathers who have a close, loving relationship with their infant children have a profound impact on the behavioral development of their kids as they grow older.

Dr. Paul Ramchandani said fathers have a lasting impact on their children.  They found that babies whose dads lovingly interacted with them at three months had fewer problems when assessed nine months later.

Lead researcher Dr. Paul Ramchandani of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford observed, “At the other end of the scale, children tended to have greater behavioral problems when their fathers were more remote or interacted less with them.”

The report, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, referred to research showing that “Behavioral disorders are the commonest psychological problem affecting children.” They could causepoor outcomes in adolescence and adulthood, “including academic failure, delinquency, peer rejection, and poor psychiatric and physical health.”

Professor Ronald Rohner, of the University of Connecticut, who analyzed 36 studies involving more than 10,000 participants, found that a present and loving father was crucial to a child’s positive behavioral development, whereas children with absent or rejecting fathers tended to have more problems with anger, hostility, and aggression.

Norman Wells of the UK’s Family Education Trust, said the Rohner study “underlines the importance of intact and stable families where both the father and the mother are committed to bringing up their children together.

“Successive governments have failed to recognize the fact that men and women are different and that they parent differently, pretending that one parent is as good as two, or that two parents of the same sex are as good as two natural parents of the opposite sex,” Wells said.

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