A study of the children of older fathers has found subtle impairments of intelligence and other mental abilities during infancy and childhood.This is only the latest in a series of problems identified in the children of older fathers, an area of study that has been widely overlooked.
Judges are supposed to decide custody after divorce by doing what's "in the best interests of the child." That can be tough to figure out, so legal scholars are proposing an alternative: Children should spend as much time with each parent after the divorce as they did before. But a psychologist argues that this so-called "approximation rule" has little basis in science-and tilts against fathers.
A newly published review of 24 studies finds that fathers have an important positive influence on their kids: When fathers are engaged with their children, boys have fewer behavior problems, girls have fewer psychological problems, and both show enhanced cognitive development.
A decade ago, researchers began to suspect that mothers played a key role in determining how involved fathers are with their kids. But they didn't have much evidence. Now, a new study finds that mothers do play an important role both in encouraging and curtailing fathers' involvement. Even fathers who want to be involved with their kids often drift away with persistent maternal criticism.
About Fathers looks at the new science of fatherhood, the subject of my book Why Fathers Matter - What science is telling us about the parent we've overlooked, which was published by Scientific America/FSG in June, 2014. I also report and comment on news related to fathers, men, boys, families, and parenting.