Note to Dads: Good Parenting Makes a Difference

Father's Day is a chance to recognize dads for putting up with all manners of nonsense that kids manage to cook up on the way to adulthood.

But a new study by researchers at the University of Arizona shows just how important dad's job as a role model actually is.

"When it comes to girls and their decisions about sex, it turns out a father's influence really does matter," said Bruce J. Ellis, the study's lead author and the John and Doris Norton Endowed Chair in Fathers, Parenting, and Families at the UA Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences.

"Girls who receive lower-quality fathering tend to engage in more risky sexual behavior in adolescence. We know that poor fathering and daughters' risky sexual behavior go together, but we haven't known why and haven't known how. Our study was meant to figure out that issue," he said.

Ellis and his colleagues developed a special methodology to test for the impact of fathers on their daughters' sexual risk-taking. "By controlling for both genetic effects and family-level confounds, our results demonstrated a cause-and-effect relationship: different amounts of exposure to different kinds of fathers altered daughters' sexual behavior," he said.

Ellis's colleagues on the study included Gabriel L. Schlomer, a research scientist; Elizabeth H. Tilley, a graduate student; and Emily A. Butler, an assistant professor. All are from the Norton School.

Read more from this June 16 article from UANews at the link below.

Contact name: 
Bruce Ellis
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Released date: 
Jun 20 2011