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New Study Shows a Father’s Love is Critical to a Child’s Development

A father’s love is as important to a child’s emotional development as a mother’s, a large-scale study has confirmed.

Examining the cases of more than 10,000 sons and daughters revealed how a cold or distant father can damage a child’s life, sometimes for decades to come.

The review of 36 studies from around the world concluded that his love is at least as important to youngsters as that of their mothers.

Researcher Professor Ronald Rohner said that fatherly love is key to  development and hopes his findings will motivate more men to become involved in caring for their offspring.

‘In the US, Great Britain and Europe, we have assumed for the past 300 years that all children need for normal healthy development is a loving relationship with their mother,’ he said.

‘And that dads are there as support for the mother and to support the  family financially but are not required for the healthy development of the children.

‘But that belief is fundamentally wrong. We have to start getting away from that idea and realize the dad’s influence is as great, and sometimes greater, than the mother’s.’

His conclusions came after he examined data from studies in which  children and adults were asked how loving their parents were.

Questions included if they were made to feel wanted or needed, if their  parents went out of their way to hurt their feelings and if they felt loved.

Those taking part also answered questions about their personality. These ranged from ‘I think about fighting or being mean’ to ‘I think the world is a good, happy place’.

Source: Daily Mail

Tallying the results showed that those rejected in childhood felt more anxious and insecure as well as hostile and aggressive.

Many of the problems carried over into adulthood, reported the study  published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review.

Crucially, a father’s love was often just as important as a mother’s. In some cases, it was even more so. One reason for this may be that rejection is more painful when it comes from the parent the child regards as more powerful or respected.

Professor Rohner, of the University of Connecticut, US, said rejection in childhood has the most ‘strong and consistent effect on personality and development’.

He added: ‘Children and adults  everywhere – regardless of race, culture, and gender – tend to respond in exactly the same way when they perceived themselves to be rejected.’

Professor Rohner said that children who feel unloved tend to become  anxious and insecure, and this can make them needy. Anger and resentment can lead to them closing themselves off emotionally in an attempt to protect themselves from further hurt.

This may make it hard for them to form relationships. They can suffer from low self-esteem and find it difficult to handle stressful situations.

Professor Rohner added that research shows the same parts of the brain are activated when people feel rejected as when they suffer physical pain.

He added: ‘Unlike physical pain,  however, people can psychologically  relive the emotional pain of rejection over and over for years.’

His research shows a father’s input is particularly important for behaviour and can influence if a child later drinks to excess, takes drugs or suffers  mental health problems.

Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, said: ‘This study underlines the importance of intact and stable families where both the father and the mother are committed to bringing up their children together.

‘Successive governments have failed to recognise the fact that men and women are different and that they  parent differently.’

He criticised ministers for ‘pretending that one parent is as good as two, or that two parents of the same sex are as good as two natural parents of the opposite sex’.

This week, the Coalition announced penalties for mothers who fail to allow former partners to maintain a proper relationship with their children, including jail. A right to ‘shared parenting’ following family breakdown will also be enshrined in law.

What people are saying

2 thoughts on “New Study Shows a Father’s Love is Critical to a Child’s Development

  1. WellItsaboutTimeThisIsStudied, Recognized&Confirmed.

  2. Brent Clark says:

    The importance of having a loving dad is critical as this study points out. The gay rights agenda doesn't want this truth to come out since they claim children raised by lesbians are just as well adjusted as children from a home with two real parents. The gay rights movement aka Gay Marriage folks will lie and do anything to advance their evil cause.

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