Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biological Fathers Not Necessarily The Best, Social Dads Parent Well Too

Date:
August 2, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Men who marry a child's mother parent just as well, if not better than biological fathers. A new study examined differences in the parenting practices of four groups of fathers according to whether they were biologically related to a child and whether they were married to the child's mother.

A large number of U.S. children live or will live with a “social father,” a man who is married to or cohabiting with the child’s mother, but is not the biological father.

A new study in the Journal of Marriage and Family examined differences in the parenting practices of four groups of fathers according to whether they were biologically related to a child and whether they were married to the child’s mother. Researchers found that married social fathers exhibited equivalent or higher quality parenting behaviors than married and cohabiting biological fathers.

Furthermore, whereas married and cohabiting biological fathers displayed relatively similar quality parenting, the parenting practices of married social fathers were of higher quality than those of cohabiting social fathers. Married social fathers were more engaged with children, took on more shared responsibility in parenting, and were more trusted by mothers to take care of children.

Led by Lawrence M. Berger, PhD, MSW, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, participants were drawn from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a longitudinal study of children born in 20 large U.S. cities in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Sample children were mostly born to unmarried parents and had been followed from birth to approximately age five.

Analyses and regression results from interviews with mothers revealed that they perceived married social fathers to be engaged in relatively high quality parenting practices with the five-year-old children. Most notably, social fathers exhibited significantly higher levels of cooperation in parenting than biological fathers.

“On the whole, our findings suggest that marriage is a better predictor of parenting quality with regard to social fathers than biological fathers,” the authors conclude. “Our study is relevant to understanding the quality of parental care that children receive from resident fathers across a range of family configurations that are now commonly experienced by children.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Berger et al. Parenting Practices of Resident Fathers: The Role of Marital and Biological Ties. Journal of Marriage and Family, 2008; 70 (3): 625 DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2008.00510.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Biological Fathers Not Necessarily The Best, Social Dads Parent Well Too." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731140123.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, August 2). Biological Fathers Not Necessarily The Best, Social Dads Parent Well Too. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731140123.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Biological Fathers Not Necessarily The Best, Social Dads Parent Well Too." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731140123.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins