Men/Dads that important for children's well being?

I have a question and to see what y’all think could be a probable answer?

We have a large body of research out there on parents and children and their styles, abuse styles, good parenting styles… etc. However, if one takes time to read them, you find that often, the fathers are NOT included in the main body of research. Why do you think this is? Is it an oversight of our “modern” scientific community? A sign of laziness by those who simply want to be published as quickly as they can? A reality that men are not parenting and therefore aren’t important so we might as well just ignore their input? A possibility that recruiting needs are different for men? And besides all of those (and any others you find valid) what are we going to DO about it? Ignore the fact we teach fathers with the information primarily from mothers’ parenting practices? (this would assume that men and women parent essentially the same) Or how about just throw men out as unimportant and not even try to include them? Or do we need to severly rethink the advice we give and the facts we are toting as what children need when it comes to the universal problem of kids born without any handbook or owner’s manual?
(Simplified question) Are dad’s all that important? And if they ARE… where ARE they when we are finding out about what kids need?

Your thoughts, and ideas.

Growing old is manditory. Growing wise is optional.

Sorry to be harsh, but unless you offer some support, its my opinion that your analysis is total bullshit. Social scientists, and child psychologists have weighed in heavily on the importance of fathers. Specifically, their importance to the development of girls. Girls tend to act out in relationships which mirror that of their father. Daughters of alcoholic fathers marry alcoholics, abuse victims marry abusers, and daughters raised by single mothers are more prone to teen pregnancy. Support you claims, and i’ll look into it.

I am NOT an expert, but I will toss in my two cents anyway.

I think dads are extremely important. Sometimes they are not around, by choice or circumstance, but they are a priceless commodity that is being left untapped. Kids need the influence of both genders. Strong male AND female role models help them learn how to have have successful relationships with people of both genders. My mom taught me how to be a strong, independent woman and treat others with respect. My dad taught me how to be a strong, independent woman and treat others with respect. Because my dad is such a great guy, I knew what kind of man I wanted when I grew up. Not necessarily exactly like my dad, but a normal, nice, decent guy (there are some women out there who actively seek nice guys!)

That’s just my opinion.

nods Fair is fair… give me a few hours and I’ll bring up all I’ve got on it. :0) In the short term research I’ve done on the subject, I’ve found that there is a fairly vast discrepancy. I puposely searched just for research that pertained to child rearing and children psych, etc. for fathers in the research population. However, I found that even if the initial research population had fathers AND mothers involved, the actual discussion and results of the paper involved only the mothers or mainly the mothers.
I do agree, those studies that were directed at finding the results of the involvement of fathers had fathers in them. LOL It would have been pretty idiotic NOT to have them. I’m speaking of studies that are for parenting… as in… by parents. Not by men… not by women (there are a bunch of gender specific studies for female parental roles and influences also as I’m sure you know) but by parents.

Thank you for asking for more information and for giving me a chance to clarify. I’ll go and search for my file. However, I’m in the middle of an extended move and it may take me a few hours.

Growing old is manditory. Growing wise is optional.

laughing Color me Idiocy Blue… Fairly vast? Pbbt. Skip over the english follies folks.

Ah… I’m afraid I don’t have those articles around. They’re missing in the shuffle. Feel free to respond to the importance of fathers, and go ahead and disregard any discussion on research. I’ll repost that part of the question at a later date when I’ve been able to find the papers.

Growing old is manditory. Growing wise is optional.

Okay… now that all of that dancing and such is over. I have a disagreement in opinion. I think, that children have a normal inclination to seek out the relationship styles they have been shown by their parents. Not by just their fathers. Yes… fathers ARE important in the lives of their daughters for other reasons. However, I believe that an alcoholic MOTHER will create the same type of reaction in a daughter. (You’d have to believe in the concept of modeling for this argument)
I think, that the problem with this is that it is presented as conclusive often. Not as preliminary. We find a fathers only study and find information and then make conclusions with only half of the pertinent environment that has an impact on the population.

Growing old is manditory. Growing wise is optional.

The current prevalent modeling opinion is that daughters with acoholic mothers will become addicts(alcohol, drugs, sex), and with alcoholic fathers will become codependant enablers, and find a mate who will exhibit the traits of her father.

      • Damn it, I can never can find that section of the personals. - MC

Just yesterday the local radio news reported on a study concerning the role of the father. The study conclusion was that a child in a two parent household who has a bad relationship with the father is far more likely to abuse drugs than a child from a single parent home where the parent/child relationship was “normal”.

I have not seen the study, and repeat only what I heard on WSB, but if this holds true I would say it supports the claim that fathers play a vital role in raising a child.

But then, I already knew that.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

I’ve seen a lot of “current opinions” and I’d have to say that the current opinion is anything less than something you can pin down. For any black, you are sure to be able to find a just as well made study that says its white. Therefore, I can see how someone else could have a completely different view of the current opinion than I. :slight_smile: Human nature is incredibly intricate and study of it is highly difficult and variable.
An instable relationship with the parent/parental unit will create many problems and there are a lot of studies out there that site the phenomenon of children coming away from these relationships without a steady base and with many problems. (Plus just history and common sense.) So it is entirely valid for someone to say that a daughter will have this and this problem most likely and then find it also.
However, this is somewhat along the lines of what I was trying to say. That the research out there on this subject is so very preliminary, and we are making conclusions based on it. I’ve not seen any evidence conclusive and strong enough to have changed my mind that things are far from preliminary. The issue here is that we (as a profession) are making decisions on how to deal with fathers, based on preliminary information… and that much of the parenting information we are basing what we teach fathers on, is from mother-based research. We are acting like gods… thinking we have the answers and not accepting that we are far from answers. (insert frustrated tone here)
I think, Dr Jackson, that you are very correct in saying the father is important. I think that a father is VERY important in a child’s life. Or rather, I think a male role model is important. Just as a female role model is important. And I will have to look for that study. Thank you very much. Are you able to remember any details about the research group, the journal, or the timing of the study?
I’m sorry to be such a stick in the mud really. L I just think that it is a shame we are short changing the guys. (this is my opinion, apart from the question which I was trying not to act too opinionated.) I think we have been looking at the parent-child relationship as a mother-child relationship for so long, that we are really missing a lot of important information. That we teach fathers much as we’ve doctored women for centuries. With blindfolders on. I do see a some new research out there on fathers (and kudos for those folks! Ground breaking folks they are), but I think much of it is just setting a stage for the actual studies that might change how we really see men in a parental role. So… it is a shame. We have been passing fathers off as unimportant for so many years. And now that there is some hint that they might interact differently with their children, there is a continued prevalent disregard of the needs of the gender. How do I parent, says the dad. And he is responded to with, well… like your wife should, of course! And in that, the system has failed men miserably. If I were a dad, I’d feel outraged.

Growing old is manditory. Growing wise is optional.

Sorry, Sara, no details. Just one of those stories that caught my attention as I was driving home. If I see any references in today’s paper I’ll post them.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

:slight_smile: Thank you so very much Doc. I really appreciate it.

Your question: “Dads that important for children’s well being?”

My answer: Just ask my sons, I bet their answer will be a definitive "YES!"

Stats or not, common sence tells you that children live what they learn.
Whether the home is single, multi, hetero, homo, whatever, the child will mirror the parents.
For example, I have tried to make my ex be a proper father, even if we cant live together, I have told him over and over that he can have the kids ANYTIME he wants, on zero notice, and he still doesnt bother…are the children benefiting from a relationship with him?
I think not, as all they are laerning from him is how to neglect your children and how to disresppect your wife/SO.

My friend has a daughter, the girl has never met father…is she worse off?
Well, her mom managees a coffee shop, and has recently married a man who treats her great.
What has the girl learned? She sees a woman be strong, taking care of herself and her child, she sees her mom hold out for a man who treats her as a woman should be treated.

My parents stayed together…‘for the kids’, what did I learn?
Well, two failed marriages later, I still dont know for sure, but although I love my dad, and I got both his pride and work ethic, I seem destined to hook up with men just like him…

Two lesbians have a child, (boy/girl…dont matter)they treat each other with respect…the child learns to treat a SO with the same respect.

You can gather all the stats in the world, and it still wont answer the question…
because the answer is…


One of the questions that you asked is ‘Why are fathers seemly left out of the studies that are conducted?’

Some of this is a bit of a WAG, but I do work in the human services field.

  1. Many of the studies have a difficult time comming up with a good control group.

  2. Much of the funding for such programs as the Nurturing program or Healthy Families etc. is government funded and many the clients involved in the testing are mandated to attend the programs. Note, if the client is forced to attend a program their life is probablly not in the best of shape, including the marriage.

  3. The surveys that are used are not an accurate way of measuring the results of any intervention or behavior.

If you look into the best programs designed to prevent child abuse the effects of any type of intervention are at best marginal. Social services have a very hard time predicting change, or future behaviors in humans. This is the dramatic challenge that social sciences face, due to the fact that all people are different.

Here’s a link to the AP Online story:

It is not a large sample (2000 kids and 1000 parents) but, hey, it backs a premise I already support, so obviously it’s valid :wink:

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

As a person who didn’t have a father in my life, I would say that it had no effect on my well being. That being said, I will be a father to my child when I get to create a child with my wife.

Just a note about that survey done by CASA; since when do 1,000 boys and 1,000 girls tell the truth? All surveys are jokes because people don’t always tell the truth. Or maybe I’m lying. :slight_smile:

I am not weird, I’m just normle challenged.

Pardon me for being meta-discursive, but I am really confused here. Didn’t Sara Alexis start out the thread with a bunch of questions? And didn’t Omniscient reply that Sara Alexis’ analysis was bullshit? Did Omniscient reply to a post that has disappeared, or was he construing aforementioned list of questions as statements? If so, why did Sara Alexis’ rejoinder seem also to treat her initial battery of questions as statements?

Is there some alternative grammar on the internet in which a sentence ending with a ? is considered declarative?

I guess I’m just irked because I’ve been blindsided before, mostly on usenet, by people construing my questions as statements. Then, to have the original questioner (Alexis) play along is doubly odd.

L Boris… When Omn disagreed with my analysis, I figured he was disagreeing with the orginal premise I made about there not being sufficient research out there on dads. I figured he just skipped the questions and hit my post at the base before ever considering to answer any questions.

Of course, I could have been completely lost (not anything new at all, mind you), and he could have been shucking something at one of my questions. LOL In which case, I might as well just bury myself after laughing at myself to death for responding. :slight_smile: Guess I’ll have to be more careful about making claims before questions. Rule for Sara from now on… no claims… just flat questions.

CMET: I read one study that stated that men are a much more difficult population to get ahold of. Unless you are considering (as you mentioned) getting men who are “forced” to be part, because of a treatment program or anger management, etc. Also, a lot of the men in studies (according to THIS study) were just reports from the court system… meaning, guys who beat on their kids and do nasty awful things to them. All of which (as you said :slight_smile: ) puts quite a damper on finding a good control group L They intimated that there is a need for a new type of recruitment and testing since the men work differently, and that conventional means don’t work. shrugs I don’t recall what means they stated would be good.

And I agree along with most I think, that surveys are a crummy way to gather data. Though, it is one of the cheapest… and least time consuming. Sad… that no one has thought of anything else that might work for so cheap. But, like everyone knows… people are incredibly confusing. Guess, that makes testing them confusing too.

My son has no father… never has. And most likely will never. It’s a sad state of affairs in SOME ways… for most people. I think, in our case, that he is a lucky child. However, I have to wonder at what he is missing, that I am unable to give him. It IS true, there are some big differences between men and women. And as much as I (someone who has fought that idea for YEARS L) would hate to admit it, a good male role model will be appreciated in his life. So you see? I do have somewhat of an alterior motive in finding out info on fathers and their influence. Single fathers are on the rise, but most of them are divorcees with kids (meaning we are back to the “what part of kid is mom, what part is dad?” question). People like me, with no father or no mother at all in the parental unit, are still not very frequent enough to make a good study on what a child does with just one.

Hrmm… so… I still asked the questions to see if anyone might have a differing opinion than I. I hate the idea of throwing men out as unimportant. Yet… I still agree with Kelli when talking about “vital.” And how a single mother is much better than a terrible father. As a single mother, what is your child missing though? What do dads give their kids that no one else can?

Growing old is manditory. Growing wise is optional.