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Happy (almost) Father’s Day! The science behind the daddy/daughter relationship

Healthy Father-Daughter Relationships
Healthy Father-Daughter Relationships

Father’s Day is Sunday -- a time to reflect on the great dads we know. While both parents play a vital role in raising daughters, recent research has shown fathers may have a particularly meaningful effect.

There are many factors that influence a young girl’s future, and what a dad does matters!

Research shows a strong father-daughter bond may play an important role in what kind of person that little girl grows up to be.

Daughters who have hands-on dads during their early stages of development are more likely to be in better physical health. Teens who have strong relationships with their fathers are less likely to become pregnant.

During the college years, these daughters are less likely to be talked into having sex. Healthy father-daughter relationships lead to better grades in school, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of anxiety, eating disorders, and depression.

More than one in four children in the United States live in a home without a father. The good news? The fathers who are around appear to be more involved than ever. A recent study found dads now spend three times as much time with their kids than they did two generations ago.

Fathers also seem to be having a greater impact on their daughters’ academic and career choices than fathers in previous generations. Women who were born in the 1970s are three times more likely than those born at the beginning of the 20th century to work in the same field as their fathers.

Researchers have attributed this finding not just to society’s changing gender roles but also to daughters receiving more mentoring from their dads.