In recent years there has been considerable research from the US on positive outcomes for children whose fathers become ‘involved’ in their care. The purpose of a UK study carried out by Drs. Eirini Flouri and Ann Buchanan at the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford, was to discover whether there was similar evidence in the UK using longitudinal data from the National Child Development Study (NCDS). NCDS is an ongoing longitudinal study of some 17,000 children who were born in England, Wales and Scotland in one week in 1958. These children have been followed up at frequent intervals during their childhood and into adult life. In NCDS we were able to explore fathers’ involvement with their children when the children were aged 7, 11, and 16 years of age.
An ‘involved’ father, as defined in this research, is a father who reads to his child, takes outings with his child, is interested in his child’s education and takes a role equal to mother’s in managing his child. He may or may not live with the child’s mother, and he may or may not be the biological father to the child. This is a summary of the main findings. (Author abstract)