“The best predictor of father presence is marital status,” says a report from the Institute for American Values, explaining that when a father’s romantic relationship with his children’s mother ends, this often ends his involvement with the children as well. While having a relationship with both parents brings balance to children’s physical and emotional welfare, data from more than 100 studies point to the extremely important role fathers play in the lives of their children. In a country where the divorce rate remains close to 50%, these are important points to ponder this Father’s Day.
In a 2008 survey of 2,005 California adults conducted by Healthy Relationships California (HRC), 46% of those whose parents divorced had fathers who were not too involved or not at all involved in their lives, compared to 13% of those whose parents stayed married. The significance of father involvement is reinforced by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, reporting that “Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have better self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.” These observations are supported by the data compiled by HRC in Healthy Marriages, Responsible Fatherhood:
- There is a positive correlation between marital quality and the quality of the father-child relationship.
- When marital conflict is high, fathers have a more difficult time being involved with their children, which weakens the father-child relationship.
Relationship and Marriage Education improves marital satisfaction, increases parenting skills, and decreases marital conflict, thus strengthening the overall relationship between father and child. “My wife’s support and encouragement help me be a better father to our kids,” says K. Jason Krafsky, Director of Communications and Marketing at HRC, co-author of Facebook and Your Marriage, and father of four. “The quality of the relationship with my wife, how we communicate, work as a team, and express intimacy, model for our kids what a healthy marriage is and give them a better chance of having one themselves in the future.”
Published on June 17, 2011; updated on June 11, 2013
Written by Lucinda Loveland – Copyright (C) 2011 Healthy Relationships California