Current research into the key role played by fathers
The Centre for Community Child Health, which is part of the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, recently published a key report titled The First 1000 Days: An Evidence Paper, September 2017.
A key section of the report considers the contribution of fathers/male caregivers to a child’s development. The report noted that “While research on parenting often focuses primarily on the role of mothers or families in general, growing evidence supports the critical and unique role of fathers/male caregivers in early childhood development" (Cabrera, Shannon, Tamis-LeMonda, 2007).
A 2008 systematic review found that father engagement positively impacted social, behavioural, psychological and cognitive outcomes in children (Sarkadi, Kristiansson, Oberklaid& Bremberg, 2008).
Specifically, greater father involvement has been linked to: greater levels of cognitive and social competence; increased capacity for empathy; positive self-control and self-esteem; better interactions with siblings; and better academic progress (Wilson & Prior, 2011).”