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Consequences Of Fathers For Men Themselves And Their Children

Becoming a father impacts a man's own psychological development and well-being. One avenue of interest is the impact of fatherhood on men's self-identity. Fatherhood is positively related to men's ability to understand themselves, and to understand others sympathetically. In addition, John Snarey (1993) has found that fathers who are highly involved with their children were higher in societal generativity (i.e., serving as a mentor, providing leadership in the community, or caring for other younger adults). Fathering may be an important contribution to men's development as adults.

Fathers have an impact on their children as well. In the case of nonresident fathers, there are modest but positive links between fathers' contact with their children and academic success on the one hand and negative links with internalizing problems on the other. Quality matters, too: Adolescents who reported a strong attachment with their nonresidential fathers and whose fathers used authoritative parenting had higher educational attainment, were less depressed, and were less likely to be imprisoned (Amato and Gilbreth 1999). In intact families, similar findings were evident: there is a moderate negative association between authoritative fathering and internalizing and externalizing problems. Moreover, the positive influence of fathers on children's behavior was evident for Euro-American, African-American, and Latino fathers (Marsiglio et al. 2000).

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaPregnancy & ParenthoodFatherhood - Historical Perspectives, Fathers Across The Life Span, Determinants Of Father-involvement, Divorced And Single Fathers