How do dads influence their teen daughters' well-being?

DA10CFE3-257F-4EA9-BC2E904F2295EFB8_article"The influence of fathers on their teenage children has long been overlooked. Now researchers are finding surprising ways in which dads make a difference."

Scientific American is running an excerpt from Paul Raeburn's new book, "Do Fathers Matter? What Science Is Telling Us about the Parent We’ve Overlooked."

The tl;dr:

Fathers have long been neglected in research on child and family psychology, but recent work is identifying numerous ways in which they affect the development of their teenage children. Among them are unexpected effects on the reproductive development of daughters and the cultivation of empathy in children of both sexes. The new research suggests that a father's love and acceptance are at least as important as the love and acceptance of a mother.

Notable Replies

  1. Doctor Barnabus Stinson has done extensive work in this area, though his research was with slightly older women. I have no doubt that the findings would be similar within the teenage population.

  2. Ethel says:

    I inferred this years ago when I read that menarchal age has a strong link to a father residing in home; increased age of menarche with father in house and decreased with lack of a father. To me that is a very strong biological indicator of influence.

  3. This is really interesting. I will have to get the book (father of a daughter, here). But I have to wonder how much of this correlation is not about the presence or absence of a father, but the presence or absence of a second well-invested parent regardless of gender. Or even the presence or absence of other close family members. For instance, what's the average age of menarche in traditional hunter-gatherer societies where none of the kids are raised soley by one or two parents but by the whole village/group/clan/whatever? Single moms simply don't, by and large, have the time to provide as much care as two parents. I'm not accusing the authors of being on a traditional marriage platform, but I am dubious of how important it is that the second strong parent be male.

  4. Dan Qualye will now accept any apologies.

  5. Good point, I'd also like to see stats on single parent families where the dad was the one who stayed. The majority of single parents are women, so the research could be going down a blind alley. I wonder if the stress of a family break up could be a factor in early menarche.

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