Confident fathers have happier children, says study

Confident fathers who embrace becoming a parent are less likely to have children who display behavioural issues before the teenage years, a study says.

The Oxford University research stresses the importance of a man's attitude to fatherhood soon after birth.

This can influence later behaviour more than undertaking childcare and chores.

The study assessed if fathers were confident with their child, formed a strong bond and felt closer to their partner as a result of parenthood.

Writing in the journal BMJ Open, the researchers concluded: "The findings of this research study suggest that it is psychological and emotional aspects of paternal involvement in a child's infancy that are most powerful in influencing later child behaviour and not the amount of time that fathers are engaged in childcare or domestic tasks in the household.

"How new fathers see themselves as parents, how they value their role as a parent and how they adjust to this new role, rather than the amount of direct involvement in childcare in this period, appears to be associated with positive behavioural outcomes in children."

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