According to the 2007 Research Summary of Evidence conducted by Sarah Allen & Kerry Daly at the University of Guelph, there is.
Find the full report, The Effects of Father Involvement: An Updated Research Summary of Evidence, here.
Outcomes for Children
“Father absence has deleterious effects on a wide range of child development outcomes including health, social and emotional, and cognitive outcomes” (Wertheimer & Croan, 2003).
The following is an overview of this research summary:
Infants of involved fathers:
- are more cognitively competent at 6 months and score higher on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.
Young children of involved fathers:
- Continue to have higher cognitive functioning at age one;
- Are better problem solvers as toddlers; and
- Have higher IQ’s at age three.
School-aged children of involved fathers:
- Are more likely to demonstrate a greater tolerance for stress and frustration;
- Have superior problem-solving and adaptive skills;
- Are better able to manage their emotions and impulses in an appropriate manner;
- Have peer relationships that are typified by less negativity, less aggression, less conflict, more reciprocity, more generosity, and more positive friendship qualities;
- Are better academic achievers: they are more likely to get A’s & have higher grade point averages;
- Have better quantitative and verbal skills.
Teenaged children of involved fathers:
- are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviour, including less drug use, stealing and truancy;
- were 80% less likely to have been in jail and 75% less likely to become unwed parents.
Adult children of involved fathers:
- Are more likely to have higher levels of economic and educational achievement;
- Are more likely to score high on measures of self-acceptance and personal and social adjustment;
- Are more likely to have career success including occupational competency;
- Are more likely to have higher educational attainment; and
- Are more likely to have psychological well-being.
“Overall, father love appears to be as heavily implicated as mother love in offspring’s psychological well-being and health, as well as in an array of psychological and behavioural problems” (Rohner & Veneziano, 2001).
Benefit for Fathers
Fathers who are involved in their children’s lives are more likely to:
- exhibit greater psychosocial maturity;
- be more satisfied with their lives; and
- feel less psychological distress.
Fathers who are involved in their children’s lives have:
- fewer accidental and premature deaths;
- less than average contact with the law;
- less substance abuse;
- fewer hospital admissions; and
- a greater sense of overall well being.
Measures of Father Involvement
These include father involvement measured as:
- Time spent together;
- Quality of father-child relationships;
- Investment in paternal role.