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Equality North East

New report highlights distinct role of fathers in nurturing their children’s mental health

Whilst there is growing awareness about the importance of mothers’ mental health, less is known about fatherhood and the impact fathers can have on their children’s mental health.

Fatherhood: the impact of fathers on children’s mental health, our 50th briefing paper, explores the research available on this topic and highlights the distinct role fathers can play in nurturing good mental health in their children.

From pregnancy to adolescence, fathers are a major influence on a child’s emotional and behavioural health. They provide support in the same ways as mothers, such as through sensitive parenting, boundary-setting and creating secure attachments.

But they can also help to emotionally buffer mother and child against environmental stresses, and provide compensatory support should a mother need to recover from a mental health difficulty. There is also evidence that fathers facilitate their child’s linguistic development in a distinctive way.

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March 15, 2017

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