Father/Son Relationship

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Father/Son Relationship

The benefits of improving father/son relationships for male children include better performance in school, improved problem-solving skills, and improved development of social skills.


  • Numerous studies indicate that improved relationships with fathers result in improved educational results.
  • According to The Atlantic, "research has shown that fathers, no matter what their income or cultural background, can play a critical role in their children’s education. When fathers are involved, their children learn more, perform better in school, and exhibit healthier behavior. Even when fathers do not share a home with their children, their active involvement can have a lasting and positive impact."
  • A report by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services indicates that students perform better academically when their fathers are highly involved with their education.
  • Another study by the U. S. Department of Education found that children of highly involved biological fathers were 43% more likely to earn As and 33% less likely to repeat a grade.
  • According to a study done by the British Journal of Guidance & Counseling, children with present fathers were found to do better in school than those whose fathers were absent.

Emotional State

  • Studies show that strong father/son bonds lead to improved emotional states of sons. Strong father/son bonds improve the ability of sons to be calmer in stressful situations and improve problem-solving skills.
  • A study led by Melanie Mallers, a psychology professor found that "men who reported a good relationship with their fathers during childhood were less affected by stressful events than those who had poor father-son relationships."
  • The interactions of fathers and sons tend to be "through rough-and-tumble play." This challenges and stimulates children can improve their problem-solving skills.
  • According to the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, "research shows that even very young children who have experienced high father involvement show an increase in curiosity and in problem-solving capacity. Fathers’ involvement seems to encourage children’s exploration of the world around them and confidence in their ability to solve problems."

Modeling Adult Male Behavior

  • According to the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, "fathers demonstrate to their children that male adults can take responsibility, help to establish appropriate conduct, and provide a daily example of how to deal with life, how to dress, how to regulate closeness and distance, and the importance of achievement and productivity."
  • According to a study by Green, Williams, and Goodman, "families in which sons exhibited more feminine traits were more likely to have fathers who did not spend a substantial amount of time with their sons during the first years of their sons’ lives."

Mental Development

  • Fathers' relationship with their male children impacts their mental development. A study done by Enns, Cox, and Larsen found that depression in men was connected with the "parental bonding experienced by patients when they were children."
  • Research has shown that a father’s control is more detrimental to sons than a mother's. According to the research, if control is seen as a positive aspect, it can help in preventing some mental disorders.
  • The influence of a father's relationship can also be seen in the conduct of a son. A study that explored the rate of incarceration and absent fathers found that "male adolescents who lived in a home without a father had elevated risks for incarceration when compared with male adolescents who did live with their fathers."
  • Another study by Mackey found that the absence of a father "was a much stronger predictor of violence in young men than poverty" and "the longer a father is present in his son’s life, the less violent the son is likely to be."

Development of Social Skills

  • Numerous studies that analyzed the impact of absent fathers have always come to the same conclusion. "Boys whose fathers were often absent were less popular and had less-satisfying peer-group relationships than boys whose fathers were regularly available."
  • Findings of various studies indicate that the presence of a father figure does not necessarily impact the social development of children.
  • The social development of boys depends on the relationship between the father and the child. For instance, a study that was done by MacDonald and Parke found that "boys whose fathers were both highly physical and low in directiveness received the highest popularity ratings, and the boys whose fathers were highly directive received lower popularity scores." Other researchers have reported that patience, understanding, and greater playfulness among fathers were associated with less aggressive behaviors with peers among children.

Research Strategy

A thorough analysis of various reliable sources including news outlets, research platforms, and industry publications did not yield any recent concrete information in Australia. We, therefore expanded the scope of the research to include older sources from the United States and the U.K.

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