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  • Study Reveals Impact of a Dad in His Daughter's Happiness When She Grows Up

    Here's why the bond between dads and daughters are so crucial from the beginning.
    by Rachel Perez .
Study Reveals Impact of a Dad in His Daughter's Happiness When She Grows Up
PHOTO BY iStock
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • Much has been said about a mother's influence in a child's life, but it should not overshadow the role dads play in a child's upbringing. We want the dads to be as hands-on and active in raising their kids (like this dad that made us laugh today). In fact, a new study highlights how a dad's presence is vital in her daughter's life.

    The study found that girls who have a close relationship with their dads tend to be less lonely. "We found that closeness between fathers and daughters tends to protect daughters and help them transition out of loneliness faster," Xin Feng, co-author of the study and associate professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University said in a press release.  

    Overcoming loneliness is about managing one's emotions effectively and navigate the ups and down in life. Paying attention to a child's feelings, especially when they are sad or unhappy, and helping them cope allows them to learn how to do it independently later on in life. 

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    The study, published in the online edition of the Journal of Family Psychology, looked into 695 families. Both moms and dads were asked to rate the closeness of their relationship with their child when the child was between first to fifth grade. The children were asked to rate their loneliness when they were in grades one, three, and five.

    The researchers found the closeness between parents and kids decline during the early elementary period, which is typical. During those years, the kids are more independent and their focus is on developing friendships and spending more time with their peers outside the home.

    As the kids became more comfortable with their social skills, the levels of loneliness declined. But not all kids overcame loneliness at the same rate. The study showed that daughters who had a close relationship with their dads fared much better. 

    It also doesn't mean that the girls' relationship with their moms had no effect or are not important when it came to the loneliness factor. Julia Yan, the lead author of the study and a doctoral student in human sciences at Ohio State, suggested that most moms have close ties with their kids and are already a source of stability being on top of everyday tasks.

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    It's not the first study to underline the role of fathers and how their active presence affects their daughters. Girls who have a stable relationship with their dads are more likely to be mentally fit and have fulfilling relationships. Fathers are also influential in helping their daughters develop a positive self-image. It's a good thing dads have a soft spot for their daughters.

    But both sons and daughters do benefit from having a good relationship with their fathers and having a hands-on dad. "Fathers have more freedom to interact with their children in different ways, to challenge them and have a wider range of emotional contact," said Feng. 

    This is where both parents, but most especially dads, can step up way before the child enters elementary. Building a relationship with your daughter starts in preschool, and even earlier, such as being present at birth. But also if a dad missed his child's development in the early years, it's never too late to start now. 

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