More programs designed to help families should focus on co-parenting and the importance that fathers play in their children's lives, according to a review of such program as covered by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
"The effects [of fathers] are profound and wide-ranging, in terms of children's biological, physiological and psychological well-being, as well as in their behavioral, social and educational outcomes throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence, even into adulthood," wrote Catherine Panter-Brick, from the Yale School of Public Health, on the Child and Family blog. "Fathers make a difference when it comes to children's survival, self-esteem, academic performance, emotional and behavioral problems, substance misuse, criminality and delinquency, peer relationships, sexual partnerships and economic prospects, as well as their capacity for empathy and life satisfaction."
Panter-Brick and her colleagues found seven barriers that seem to keep dads out of parenting programing: cultural, institutional, professional, operational, content, resource and policy biases. The researchers believe parenting programs should make more effort to engage fathers, along with mothers, so children can get the influence of both parents.
Researchers noted there wasn't much evidence on dads in parenting programs to go on, further supporting the notion that fathers needs a greater role in parenting programs.