Closeness to Fathers Helps Daughters Overcome Loneliness


Recent Research conducted by Ohio State University reveals fathers have a pivotal role on daughter’s loneliness.   

The relationship, a daughter has with her father is one that will have profound impacts on the relationships to come. The quality of that connection – good, damaged, or otherwise – powerfully impacts fathers and daughters in multiple ways. A father’s effect on his daughter’s psychological well-being and identity is far-reaching. A daughter’s sense of self, for instance, is often connected to how her father views her. A girl stands a better chance of becoming a self-confident and a mature woman if she has a close bond with her father.

Researchers from Ohio State University have found that fathers play an essential role in the lives of their daughters. They found that girls tend to report less loneliness as they went from first grade to fifth grade compared to boys. But loneliness declined more quickly among girls who had a closer relationship with their fathers. They found that closeness between fathers and daughters tends to protect daughters and help them transition out of loneliness faster.

The researchers studied 695 families. Parents rated their relationships on the basis of both closeness and conflict with their child when the child was in grades 1, 3, 4 and 5. The children rated their levels of loneliness at the same grades. Results showed that levels of closeness declined over this time period, while conflict increased. This is a time when children are becoming more independent, developing relationships with friends and spending more time outside their home. So they become less close to their parents and have more conflict with them. Loneliness also tended to decrease as the kids developed relationships with their peers and felt more comfortable with their social skills. But the study showed that kids didn't shed their loneliness at the same rate. Daughters did better when they had close relationships with their fathers.

Mothers' relationships didn't have an effect in this study. One reason was that they nearly always had close relationships with their children, so there was less difference to measure. In addition, fathers have relationships with their children, particularly their daughters that are different from the relationships mothers have with their daughters.

"In our society, mothers tend to be responsible for everyday care and stability for their children. Fathers have more freedom to interact with their children in different ways, to challenge them and have a wider range of emotional contact. That may be one reason why fathers had more impact on their daughters." Said Feng, co-author of the study and associate professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University.

The results affirm that fathers should nurture their relationships with their children, particularly with their daughters. They should pay attention to their daughter’s feelings, especially when daughters are sad or unhappy, and help them cope. It can really help daughters feel less lonely over time. Girls go through many changes during adolescence and at this pivotal time, they may become more distant from their dads. Girls have the tendency to crave more emotional closeness, and a positive impact by the father on the relationship would be highly beneficial. A regular contact is necessary. Activities like cooking, going to concerts or watching movies together are recommended. Fathers can try to do what a daughter likes and what brings her joy. He should give her time, praise her and show her affection. Both father and daughter should have realistic expectations of each other and let each other know how they feel. Giving time in the relationship benefits both. All you need is patience and persistence.

“No one in this world can love a girl more than her father” - Micheal Ratnadeepak

Story Source:  Materials provided by Ohio State University. (Content may be edited for style) (The photograph provided bears no relation to the study.)