Expectations of fathers have changed over time, for the better. Though the father’s role in child-rearing has traditionally been understood solely in terms of financial support, research now shows that fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives is critical to healthy child development. CHASP director Dr. Cynthia Osborne and her policy research group, the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP), aims to better understand the role that fathers play in shaping their child’s health and wellbeing through rigorous research focused on fathers.
In CFRP’s recent news post, “The Changing American Family and the Evolving Concept of Fatherhood,” they discuss how changing family dynamics have led to a shift in the concept of fatherhood in just the past 40 years and the importance of fathers serving as more involved caregivers.
As views about fatherhood continue to evolve, so does the nature of parenting programs. Today many parenting programs focus specifically on fathers, which in the past were purely targeted to mothers. In “Making Good on Fatherhood: A Review of Fatherhood Research,” CFRP discusses the landscape of father-focused programs and what the current evidence says about them.
Bottom line – when fathers are involved, kids benefit. These benefits range from enhanced academic performance and impulse control to reduced likelihood of having a teen birth or spending time in jail. CFRP’s popular infographic, “The Importance of Father Involvement,” simply illustrates the impact of an involved father on the outcomes of their children.
For more about Dr. Osborne’s research on fathers, please go to http://childandfamilyresearch.org/publications/fathers.