Child Development / Family Research

Fatherhood Begins in the Womb: Importance of Father's Presence (2011)

Study: Father’s Presence Makes Children Happier, More Intelligent

Commentary: Fatherhood…

Study: Father’s Presence Makes Children Happier, More Intelligent
Research at Montreal’s Concordia University has shown that fathers who actively engage in raising their children make important contributions to their children’s cognitive abilities and behavioral functioning.

The study carried out by Erin Pougnet, a PhD candidate in the Concordia University Department of Psychology, and associates, used data from the Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project, an intergenerational longitudinal data set collected in inner city areas of Montreal.

“This topic is particularly relevant in Québec, a demographically and culturally unique province in which female lone parenthood is relatively common,” Pougnet explains in the preface to the report.

According to recent Statistics Canada figures, 22 per cent of Quebec families are comprised of households where biological fathers are absent, compared to a national average of 13 per cent.

“This pattern is related to socioeconomic disadvantages that predict negative cognitive and behavioural outcomes in youth,” the researchers state.

One hundred and thirty-eight children and their parents from lower to middle income backgrounds participated in two waves of data collection: at ages 3 to 5, and again at 9 to 13 years old.

The children were given IQ tests, while their mothers completed questionnaires on spousal conflict and the home environment.

The children’s teachers contributed to the research by observing and reporting the child’s behavior at school.

“Teachers were a somewhat more independent source of information than mothers, fathers or children themselves,” Pougnet said in a press release from Concordia University, “because a father’s absence can result in home conflict, maternal distress and child distress.”

The study found that, “Compared with other children with absentee dads, kids whose fathers were active parents in early and middle childhood had fewer behaviour problems and higher intellectual abilities as they grew older — even among socio-economically at-risk families.”

“Regardless of whether fathers lived with their children, their ability to set appropriate limits and structure their children’s behaviour positively influenced problem-solving and decreased emotional problems, such as sadness, social withdrawal and anxiety,” said Pougnet.

The study also found that girls were more affected by absent fathers than boys.

“Girls whose fathers were absent during their middle childhood had significantly higher levels of emotional problems at school than girls whose fathers were present,” said Pougnet.

The research team suggests that the findings of their study not only contribute to the body of research connecting fathers and childhood development, but should also be used by governments to establish policies that support the role of fathers in their families and society.

“These findings add to the increasing body of literature suggesting that fathers make important contributions to their children’s cognitive and behavioural functioning,” the report concludes, “and point to the benefits of developing policies that encourage fathers to spend time with their children (i.e., parental leave for men) and promote positive fathering and involvement through parenting courses.”

The study, titled, “Fathers’ Influence on Children’s Cognitive and Behavioural Functioning: A Longitudinal Study of Canadian Families,” was published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science.

An abstract is available here — http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/a0023948

Abstract
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, Vol 43(3), Jul 2011, 173-182.
An emerging body of research illustrates the connections between fathers and their children's development. This topic is particularly relevant in Québec, a demographically and culturally unique province in which female lone parenthood is relatively common; this pattern is related to socioeconomic disadvantages that predict negative cognitive and behavioural outcomes in youth.

Using data from the Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project, an intergenerational longitudinal data set collected in inner city areas of Montreal, the current study investigated the prospective relations between fathers' presence and parenting, and children's subsequent cognitive and behavioural functioning.

The current sample included 138 families from lower to middle income backgrounds who participated in two waves of data collection: when children were in middle childhood and subsequently three to five years later in preadolescence.

The results indicated that for girls only, fathers' presence in middle childhood predicted fewer internalizing problems in preadolescence.

For both boys and girls, fathers' positive parental control predicted higher Performance IQ and fewer internalizing problems over six years later.

These findings add to the increasing body of literature suggesting that fathers make important contributions to their children's cognitive and behavioural functioning, and point to the benefits of developing policies that encourage fathers to spend time with their children (i.e., parental leave for men) and promote positive fathering and involvement through parenting courses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

[Thaddeus Baklinski, Sep 09, 2011, Montreal, http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/study-fathers-presence-makes-children-happier-more-intelligent?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=73dbb2a7be-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines09_09_2011&utm_medium=email]

Fatherhood Begins in the Womb

This pro-life, pro-fatherhood, pro-woman campaign is a collaborative effort between The Radiance Foundation and the Issues4Life Foundation.

Abortion, no matter the race, is a tragic loss of beauty and potential that kills over 1.2 million innocent human lives each year.

The abortion industry has created a culture of abandonment…

Men have been empowered by Roe v. Wade to abandon their primary responsibility – protecting.

They’ve either chosen to run away from their role or have been forced out by a brand of liberal feminism … in an effort to elevate women.

No one is elevated by 41% of all U.S. children being born to unmarried mothers.
In the black community, 72.3% of all children are born in homes without fathers (compared to 35.7% of white children).

Fatherlessness is epidemic in our culture.

Where are the Men?

Fatherhood begins in the womb and doesn’t end until you enter the tomb. President Obama forcefully declared, in a Father’s Day speech,
that “fatherhood doesn’t end at conception.” There is no excuse for men who’ve chosen to have sex, to then choose to avoid any and all responsibility, when the natural result of sexual activity brings forth Life… 

The ideal is that children are born following marriage. The reality is that we’ve got a lot of healing, education, and mentoring to happen to get there. So even if marriage is not chosen, children STILL need their fathers!

The CDC reports nearly 84% of all abortions are attributed to unmarried women. Guttmacher, the Planned Parenthood-funded “research” arm, in typical fashion tries to distract from this staggering statistic by adding a few words. They add ‘co-habitating’ with the statistic to drive down the number, thus claiming: “53% of women having abortions are unmarried and cohabitating.”
The Consequences

An unborn child without a father’s presence is most likely to…die. Abortion has taken the place of fathers. This devastation of the absence of fathers doesn’t stop there. Cohabitation harms children, too.

    Compared to children living with married biological parents, those whose single parent had a live-in partner had more than 8 times the rate of maltreatment overall, over 10 times the rate of abuse, and nearly 8 times the rate of neglect.

[Administration of Children & Families, Dept. of Health & Human Services, pg. 12, “Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect”, 2010]

Children, without fathers in the home, are 5 times more likely to live in poverty than those raised by two married parents…

There are an incredible host of disparities and disastrous consequences of the breakdown of the family, especially in the black community. The CDC reports that infant mortality among children of unmarried women increases 78% compared to children in two-parent married homes.

Children, without fathers in the homes, are twice as likely to drop out of school, at much higher risk of incarceration, drug use, teenage pregnancy, and continuing cycle of poverty. 

Perpetual welfare (there isn’t a welfare bill that Planned Parenthood hasn’t lobbied for), population control efforts (via abortion and birth control policies), and personal behavior (heavily influenced by media and public education) have resulted in an environment that is, too often, toxic for our children.

We need our fathers. Mothers should never be left to play both roles.

The moment a child is conceived, a father is born. What will we do, as a society, to help stop this destructive trend of abandonment?

Parent Resources:
National Center for Fathering — http://www.fathers.com/
What to Expect — http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/for-dad/landing-page.aspx
Hidden Choices — www.hiddenchoices.org
Being Dad (tips for being a great dad)– http://www.beingdadusa.com

The Radiance Foundation. 1-877-51-SHINE (74463). www.TooManyAborted.com is a media initiative created by The Radiance Foundation.  [http://www.toomanyaborted.com/?page_id=4009]