The evidence is in and it is clear that fathers do matter for the lives of children. Hundreds of studies over the past two decades have consistently demonstrated that fathers have a measureable impact on children. Studies show that infants are positively affected by the interactions and care given by their fathers. Research has also established the importance of fathers for older children's well-being. Good studies have found that the quality of parenting exhibited by the father as well as the resources fathers bring or don't bring to their families predict children's behavior problems, depression, selfesteem, and life-satisfaction. The reach of fathers has been shown to extend to adolescents and young adults, as research shows adolescents function best when their fathers are engaged and involved in their lives. Finally, there is good evidence that fathers play an important role in helping their children make the transition to adulthood.
In this research brief, the author explores the importance of fathers and mothers for a nationally representative sample of teenagers, specifically examining whether a father's human capital, social capital, and role modeling may uniquely influence his adolescent's self-identity and behavior. (Author abstract)
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