Role of Dad
In Child Development

Fathers play an important role in their child’s development, with research suggesting that fathering contributes uniquely to children’s language and literacy development (Roopnarine et al., 2006).

Although less research exists on African American fathers and their children, recent father involvement research indicates that fathers who are highly involved in the lives of their young children (infancy, toddlerhood, or preschool) have children with higher social and pre-academic outcomes (Baker, 2017).

Supporting fathers in their role as a parent, particularly by encouraging them to engage in home literacy practices, such as shared book reading, likely has a direct impact on children’s language and literacy development (Bingham, Jeon, Kwon, & Lim, 2017).

Effects of Father Involvement
with their Children

  • Unfortunately, father involvement tends to decrease over time, particularly among nonresident, never-married fathers.
  • Further, compared to other fathers, fathers who do not have a close or marital relationship with the mother of their child at birth or close ties to the child's extended family tend to have less contact with their children and the weakest connections to their children (Juby et al., 2007).
  • Increasing father involvement could have long-term effects in Atlanta and nationwide.

Drive to Five
Fatherhood Facts

  • If a new union (by mother or father) is formed quickly after the romantic separation of a mother and nonresident father, it can reduce the amount of visits fathers make to nonresident children.
  • Father involvement tends to decrease over time, particularly among nonresident, never-married fathers.
  • Fathers with a close relationship to their child’s mother at birth are more likely to establish paternity; i.e., identify themselves as the legal father of the child.

Fathers Matter

  • Paternal involvement during pregnancy (e.g., attending appointments and general emotional encouragement) was shown to positively influence health outcomes for the mother, child, and father.
  • Disengaged and remote interactions of fathers with infants is a predictor of early behavior problems in children and can lead to externalizing behaviors in children as early as age one.
  • Higher levels of father engagement are associated with fewer attention and behavioral problems and lower scores of being anxious or depressed among their toddler sons.


fathers involved during infany tend to still remain engaged as parents years later.


Mortality Risk

within first 28 days, father absence increases the risk of infant mortality


decreased positive interactions with infant increases father depression

Behavior Problems

higher father engagement means fewer attention and behavioral problems

Results Based Accountability - Education Outcome Example

Every Father should actively engage in the academic aspects of his child. He should be aware of his role in the success of his child.

# of fathers attending pre-birth parenting classes
# of fathers attending responsible fatherhood classes
# of fathers attending life skill classes
% of fathers reading to their children twice a week
% of fathers attending parent-teacher conferences
% of fathers who research school options
Fathers are making educational decisions with mother
Fathers are satisfied with the school choice of their child