Children with involved fathers have better social skills, more successful relationships, stronger self esteem, more self-control and higher grades than those who do not.

They are also less likely to be overweight, suspended from school or bully, take drugs, engage in risky sexual behaviour or crime.

As fathers take a more active role in parenting there is growing evidence of the benefits to children, a report from the University of Western Australia’s fathering project shows.

The report, How fathers and father figures can shape child health and wellbeing, has reviewed all the research published in the past decade on the influence of fathers.

”We shouldn’t underestimate the vast importance of fathers in children’s lives because of the significant impact fathers have on the social, cognitive, emotional and physical wellbeing of children from infancy … into their adult life,” it states.

Fathering project leader Bruce Gibson said fathers were highly influential because children were very sensitive to what their father thought of them.

via Paternal influence crucial to the success of children: report.