It’s a tough year to be a dad.
It’s especially tough when you have a daughter with autism.
But thanks to the internet, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up on being a dad, according to a new study.
A study published Thursday in the journal Science Translational Medicine found that when it comes to the role of fathers in their childrens lives, they’re just as effective as fathers.
“We know that fathers and mothers play an important role in parenting and we know that, overall, parents are better than their peers at parenting their children,” said study co-author Eric Schulze, a professor of psychology at Michigan State University.
The researchers looked at the relationship between fatherhood and childrens socialization, and found that, while the researchers couldn’t say whether this relationship was positive or negative, the findings showed that dads are more than just parents in the eyes of children.
“It’s clear that dads have an important and positive role in the childrens’ lives, whether that’s being the father or the caregiver,” Schulz said.
“But, we can also conclude that mothers have a significant and positive influence in the childs’ socialization and learning and that they’re better than parents in terms of socialization.”
Schulzes study looked at a sample of more than 6,000 children born between 2000 and 2011.
The study looked for differences in socialization between fathers and children, and whether fathers were more successful at nurturing children, whether fathers made better decisions, or whether fathers interacted with children differently than mothers.
The results showed that mothers were better than fathers at socialization in some of the categories, and that fathers were better at socializing children in other categories.
And when it came to child-rearing, fathers were just as likely as mothers to be successful at doing their jobs as mothers were.
The findings have implications for dads in the workplace, the study authors said.
For example, fathers may be better at nurturing their children than mothers in the case of a child with autism, and in cases where a father is the caregivers, it could also be an advantage for the child.
The same is true for the relationship of fatherhood to socialization.
If fathers are more involved in their childs lives than mothers, and if fathers are better at raising their children, that could lead to an increase in the number of children with autism and other conditions.
The authors suggest that the way fathers relate to their children is a key factor in how well they do.
“The idea is that fathers should be more involved and the way that fathers interact with their children should be greater than mothers,” Schulsze said.
The paper is called “Dads are more effective than mothers at nurturing and socializing their children: An investigation of the effects of father-child interaction on child outcomes.”
It will be presented this fall at the American Psychological Association meeting in Chicago.
The work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
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