It’s something we always knew in our guts, that teens who spend more time with their fathers would have higher self-esteem.
Now one new study from the journal Child Development studied the amount of time teens and adolescents spend with their parents, and also how the time kids spent with the fathers both one-on-one and socially affected their self-esteem and social skills.
CNN.com explains the results:
The time teens spend specifically with their dads may have critical benefits, the study from Pennsylvania State University found. The more time spent alone with their fathers, the higher their self-esteem; the more time with their dads in a group setting, the better their social skills.
“The stereotype that teenagers spend all their time holed up in their rooms or hanging out with friends is, indeed, just a stereotype,” said Susan McHale, director of the Social Science Research Institute at Penn State. “Our research shows that, well into the adolescent years, teens continue to spend time with their parents and that this shared time, especially shared time with fathers, has important implications for adolescents’ psychological and social adjustment.”
CNN also quotes another study from the Families and Work Institute showed that dads spend significantly more time with their kids than they did in the past.
The study doesn’t necessarily link the fact that fathers spend time with their teens as the cause of the higher self-esteem, but also possibly because of it.
Some fathers may be more “drawn to” their children who “have higher self-worth and social competence,” the researchers suggest. They point to another study that found dads are more affected by their kids’ personalities than moms are in how they parent. So in some cases, dads spending more time with certain kids may be the result of the kids being more social — not the cause of it.
The studies also don’t mean that mothers aren’t important, as the studies suggested that good things were happening in the families as a whole.
What do you think of this new study? Does it surprise you?
Do you have teens? How do you spend your one-on-one time with teens?
Photo of dad and son sledding courtesy of Shutterstock