Studies prove that dads involvement is essential to their children

concerned-citizens-for-family-law-reform-201711The Children’s Movement of Florida: Dads’ Involvement Essential to Children’s Future

Pediatricians have a message for fathers:

You’re more important to your child’s health and well-being than you — and we — might have realized.

After assessing more than a decade’s worth of psychological and sociological research, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a new report about fatherhood and the things doctors can do to help the nation’s 70 million dads reach their full parenting potential.

Fathers aren’t just back-ups for moms. Their presence in their children’s lives is beneficial in and of itself.

For instance, a 2012 study in the journal Development and Psychopathology looked at pairs of sisters who had differing levels of father involvement. Researchers found that the chances of teen pregnancy and other early sexual experiences were lower for daughters who spent more quality time with their dads.

A review of multiple studies found that kids who grew up spending time with their fathers were less likely to have behavioral and psychological problems. They were also more likely to be independent, intelligent and have improved social awareness.

“The role of fathers, and fatherhood, is in the process of changing,” said Raymond Levy, a clinical psychologist and executive director of the Fatherhood Project at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Traditional roles are merging, with moms spending more time in the workplace and dads spending more at home.

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The Shared Parenting Movement is supported by recent child development research.

PAS101“Fathers want to share the parenting time with mothers after separation, and research shows children want the same thing. Also, research overwhelmingly shows children greatly benefit when both parents play significant roles in their lives. With this in mind, I can’t think of a better gift for everyone on any Father’s Day than moving shared parenting reform efforts forward,” said National Parents Organization Founder and Board Chair Ned Holstein, MD, MS.

WE LOVE DADDYThe shared parenting movement is supported by recent child development research. The most recent of many examples appeared this spring in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. This 150,000-person study found that shared parenting after divorce or separation is in the best interest of children’s health. The study, “Fifty moves a year: is there an association between joint physical custody and psychosomatic problems in children?” evaluated the mental health of children and concluded that children with shared parenting, spending substantial time with each parent, were significantly less stressed than children living mostly with one parent.


Not only do studies consistently show that shared parenting is best for children when parents divorce or separate, but also, federal statistics show the startling impact single parenting has on children. Consider that, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Census Bureau, the 35 percent of children raised by single parents account for:

70743-fatherless2bepidemic2bgraph2b-2b2015 63 percent of teen suicides;
70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions;
71 percent of high school drop-outs;
75 percent of children in chemical abuse centers;
85 percent of those in prison;
85 percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders;
90 percent of homeless and runaway children.

“Too many children have suffered when both parents aren’t actively involved in their lives. Please support the best interest of children on each and every Father’s Day by joining me in supporting efforts to bring shared parenting and parental equality to family courtrooms nationwide,” Dr. Holstein said.

Whether the problem is emotional disturbances of children, drug use, alcohol use, teen pregnancy, poor performance in school, trouble with the law or running with gangs, being raised by a single parent is a powerful risk factor. For many of these outcomes, single parenting is a stronger risk factor than race or poverty.

Conversely, children on average do much better on all these measures if they have shared parenting. Children ardently desire shared parenting in most cases and are happier with it.

For parents, shared parenting significantly increases child support compliance, diminishes parental conflict and domestic violence and allows both parents to pursue their careers, social lives and other interests without the burden of single-handedly raising a child.

National Parents Organization, a charitable and educational 501 (c)(3) organization, seeks better lives for children through family law reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers after divorce or separation. The organization is focused on promoting shared parenting and preserving a child’s strong bond with both parents, which is critically important to their emotional, mental, and physical health. In 2014, National Parents Organization released the Shared Parenting Report Card, the first study to rank the states on child custody laws. Visit the National Parents Organization at

This article is reposted with the author’s permission from

via Father’s Day passed amid family court reform efforts.

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