Benefits from Fathers' Involvement in Child Rearing
A father's active participation with his children benefits the children and the family. The child's self-esteem, gender identity, social and emotional development, and behavior are all improved (Baruch and Barnett, 1986; United Nations Population Fund, 1996; Lamb, 1986). A father also benefits personally from a closer relationship with his children. When he nurtures his children, violence in the home is reduced (United Nations Population Fund, 1996). A high level of positive paternal involvement is important to the child's well-being.
David Blankenhorn, chairman of the "National Fatherhood Initiative," and his supporters work to encourage fathers to be more involved with their children. Blankenhorn believes that fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation (1995). In the United States, about 40 percent of children are living in homes without their fathers and over half of all children will have lived without a father at some period by the time they are eighteen (Blankenhorn, 1995). Blankenhorn and his supporters say that this reflects a diminishing role for the father.
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