Paternal influences and the father's role: A personal perspective

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Briefly reviews research and theory concerning the role of the father in child development and presents a personal perspective that sees some long-established attitudes toward child care changing. Traditionally, major responsibility for childrearing has been assumed by women. Studies show, however, that most infants become attached to both their parents, although most turn to their mothers when distressed. With older children, fathers appear to have their greatest influence on sex role development. The type and extent of their impact varies depending on the quality of the father-child relationships. Recent trends indicate an increasing involvement of fathers in child care. These trends will increase paternal contributions to the socialization process. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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