Babies whose dads positively interact with them at three months-old reportedly behave better at 12 months, a study claims.
Researchers from Oxford University looked at how dads interact with their children at three months and then studied the same children’s behaviour at 12 months, reports BBC News.
“We found children whose fathers were more engaged had better outcomes,” said Dr Paul Ramchandani.
“At the other end of the scale, children tended to have greater behavioural problems when their fathers were more remote and lost in their own thoughts or when their father interacted less with them,” he added.
The dads were filmed playing twice with their three-month-old babies. At 12-months, they were asked to complete questionnaires and a checklist about the behaviour of their child.
“The association tended to be stronger for boys than for girls, suggesting that perhaps boys are more susceptible to the influence of their father from an early age,” said Dr Paul.
The research, funded by Wellcome Trust, suggests that offering outside help to dads to engage positively with their children in the first few weeks after birth could help improve children’s behaviour in later life.
“As every parent knows, raising a child is not an easy task. Our research adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests that intervening early to help parents can make a positive impact on how their infant develops.”