Stressed Out Dads Impede Children’s Learning Habits, Research Shows

The peer-reviewed research was published in Infant and Child Development and Early Childhood Research Quarterly.In a survey of over 730 families, Tamesha Harewood, a postdoctoral researcher from Michigan State University, and her colleagues found that when fathers had high levels of “parenting stress,” their sons tended to have poorer language skills at age 3.

When Dad is stressed both boys and girls typically score lower on cognition tests — referring to abilities like learning, reasoning, and paying attention.Harewood’s research particularly focused on lower-income families and measured stress levels with standard questionnaires asking parents whether or not they agreed with statements like, “I feel trapped by my responsibilities as a parent,” or “Sometimes I feel my child doesn’t like me.”Studies of this nature have only more recently begun to explore the unique role of fathers as their influence on a child’s development is not the same as moms.

Dads who are actively contributing as parents affect preschoolers’ language skills and emotional development — as well as older kids’ risks of depression and behavior issues.”Times have changed,” notes Harewood, “more fathers are staying at home with their kids, or becoming more involved in parenting,” a move father advocates praise.The Christian Post reached out to the National Fatherhood Initiative for their comments on this study, particularly on the fact that its lead researcher highlights the increasing numbers of dads staying at home.

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Categories: Family Matters

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