According to findings from a recent study from Concordia University, the answer to that question is yes. Compared to children whose fathers were absent, the study found that children who had present and actively involved fathers had higher IQs and demonstrated fewer behavioral problems.
Erin Pougnet, the study’s author, noted that programming for fathers is an important application of the findings of this study:
Programs that teach fathers positive parenting skills and that are attractive and accessible to families from a range of socioeconomic strata, "could go a long way to enhance children's later development."
Another expert in child research, Dr. Mariana Brussoni of the Child & Family Research Institute and University of British Columbia, noted that many programs neglect to specifically focus on fathers:
It is crucial for policies and programs to consider how they can support fathers to remain involved in children's lives. Many of the existing programs are more focused towards mothers and their needs, which is undoubtedly important. However, fathers cannot continue to be relegated to a secondary parenting role.
These statements are no surprise to us at NFI. We’ve long recognized that fathers take a different approach to parenting than mothers and need resources that are specifically designed for them. In fact, this matches what dads and moms are telling us in our national surveys, Pop's Culture and Mama Says:
- Almost 50% of dads felt like they did not have the skills to be a father when they first became a dad
- "Lack of knowledge about how to be a good father” ranked highly on dads’ list of obstacles to good fathering
- 1 in 3 moms also agreed that the “lack of parenting resources specifically designed for fathers” is a significant obstacle to dads’ parenting
That’s where NFI comes in. NFI is the #1 provider of fatherhood resources and the #1 trainer of organizations and fatherhood practitioners. Here’s just a few of the highlights of our work to make sure dads have the resources they need to help them be involved fathers:
- NFI offers over 100 resources designed specifically for fathers (brochures, fathering handbooks, curricula for fatherhood programs, etc.)
- We have distributed over 5.8 million fatherhood skill-building resources
- We have trained over 7,600 fatherhood program practitioners and over 3,500 organizations on how to deliver fatherhood skill-building programming to dads
- Independent, third-party evaluations of our fatherhood curricula have shown statistically significant increases in pro-fathering knowledge, attitudes, and skills
You can learn more about the fatherhood skill-build resources we offer at our FatherSOURCE™ Resource Center. Ultimately, we strive to provide the very best skill-building resources for fathers because, as research like the Concordia University study have found, kids thrive when they have involved, responsible, and committed fathers. That is what is at the heart of NFI’s mission.