Dads love contributes more to a child’s development

According to a wide scale study, a Father’s Love is one of the greatest influences on a child’s development. The research is well timed for Father’s Day and raises a very important question. Why does society tend to blame mother’s for their children’s bad behaviour when, in fact, fathers are often more implicated than mothers in the development of problems.

Fathers love more important than mothers

A father’s love contributes as much — and sometimes more — to a child’s development as does a mother’s love. That is one of many findings in a new large-scale analysis of research about the power of parental rejection and acceptance in shaping our personalities as children and into adulthood.

The research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Review focused on the power of parental rejection and acceptance in shaping our personalities as children and into adulthood. The wide scale study looked at 36 groups from around the world and involved over 10,000 people. Authors, Rohner and Abdul Khaleque found that in response to rejection by their parents, children and adults tend to feel more anxious and insecure. Consequently as adults they find it more difficult to form relationships.

Father’s love for a child is especially important, as the results from 500 studies suggest that the influence of one parent’s rejection – often the father’s can be much greater than the others. According to an international team of psychologists working on the International Father Acceptance Rejection Project children pay more attention to the parent with the most interpersonal power or prestige. So if a child perceives her father as having higher prestige, he may be more influential in her life than the child’s mother.

One important take-home message from all this research, Rohner says, is that fatherly love is critical to a person’s development. The importance of a father’s love should help motivate many men to become more involved in nurturing child care. Additionally, he says, widespread recognition of the influence of fathers on their children’s personality development should help reduce the incidence of “mother blaming” common in schools and clinical setting. “The great emphasis on mothers and mothering has led to an inappropriate tendency to blame mothers for children’s behavior problems and maladjustment when, in fact, fathers are often more implicated than mothers in the development of problems such as these.”

Source: May 2012 Personality and Social Psychology Review, a journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP).

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